You’re still much more likely to be injured while riding a motorcycle than driving a car, but those risks seem to have dropped somewhat. In 2017, there was a significant decline in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in the United States. However, that progress doesn’t seem to have percolated down to Indiana. Here, there was actually a significant increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2017, compared to 2018.
According to data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, preliminary statistics seem to indicate a drop of 6% in the number of motorcycle fatalities across the country in 2017, compared to 2016. Overall, there were 4,990 motorcycle accident deaths in the United States in 2017, a decline of 296 motorcyclist fatalities from 2016. It is a significant decline and seems to indicate some progress in making the streets safer for motorcyclists to ride on. Even so, your risks as a motorcyclist are much higher than the risks of a motorist. Motorcyclists have a disproportionate risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident. Fatalities for motorcyclists are as much as 20 times higher than for people riding in or driving passenger vehicles.
For Indiana however, there were somber statistics in the report. In 2016, there were 100 recorded motorcycle accident fatalities, and that number increased to 144 in 2017. That was an increase of 44%, and it is a staggering rise. In fact, most states reported a decline in motorcycle accident fatalities in stark contrast to Indiana, one of 18 states that reported an increase in motorcycle fatalities.
Those numbers are a wake-up call for Indiana transportation agencies that must intensify their efforts to keep the streets safe for motorcyclists. The increase of 44% must be analyzed in depth to understand the kinds of improvements that can be made to better protect motorcyclists.
The data for 2017 also seems to point to an increase in the number of older people being killed in motorcycle accidents. In earlier years, younger motorcyclists accounted for a disproportionate share of the fatality toll, but in the past few years, the number of fatalities involving motorcyclists above 40 has been increasing, and 2017 was no different.
If you love to ride, then make sure that you do so safely. Always, always wear a helmet while riding. No matter what your age and no matter how long you have been motorcycling, wear a helmet because it is the only piece of equipment protecting you against severe or fatal head injuries in a motorcycle accident. Follow all safety laws, keep to optimum speeds, and keep an eye on the speed and behavior of motorists around you in order to stay safe.
The Indianapolis motorcycle accident attorneys at Montross Miller represent persons injured in motorcycle accidents across Indiana.