The number of motorcycle traffic fatalities across the nation increased approximately nine percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a recent study. While that increase alone is cause for alarm, a bigger concern is that Missouri was the state with the fourth largest increase in the rate of motorcycle crash fatalities during that time – 22%.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association’s publication, Spotlight on Highway Safety, Missouri motorcycle traffic fatalities increased by 22% from 2011 to 2012. Missouri’s percentage increase was lower only than the rates of motorcycle traffic fatalities in Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The percentage of the increases was determined by comparing the accident data for the first nine months of 2012 to the same period a year earlier.
The number of motorcycle traffic fatalities has been consistently increasing in the United States over the past 15 years, more than doubling from the 2,116 fatalities reported in 1997 to the 4,612 fatalities reported in 2011. The GHSA predicts that the number of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2012 will be among the highest numbers ever recorded when all of the data is compiled. Deadly motorcycle accidents in Missouri and across the nation are increasing, even though the total number of traffic fatalities involving cars and trucks has dropped by 23% since 1997.
Addressing Missouri Motorcycle Accident Fatality Rates
The GHSA recommends that states adopt strategies to increase helmet use, reduce alcohol impairment, reduce speeding, train all motorcycle operators and ensure that they are properly licensed, in addition to adopting strategies that encourage other drivers to share the road with motorcyclists. That’s good advice, and if followed, could likely have a direct affect on Missouri motorcycle accident fatality rates, although other factors may also be involved.
According to a report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the top three causes of traffic fatalities involving all types of motor vehicles in the state are:
- exceeding speed limit / going too fast for conditions
- alcohol impairment
- not paying attention to other drivers and conditions.
Motorcycle drivers tend to suffer the brunt of the injuries in collisions with cars or other vehicles because they are less protected and therefore more vulnerable to serious injury or death. In fact, the MSHP reported that nearly 80% of all motorcycle accidents in 2010 resulted in death or personal injury.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident caused by another motorist, contact The Horn Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation to help pay your medical bills and other expenses.