A disturbing trend nationwide reveals that fatal motorcycle crashes are on the rise nationwide. A recent fatal motorcycle crash on Alabama Highway 75 has drawn attention to the latest findings.
In Alabama alone, there were 76 deaths from fatal motorcycle crashes in 2014. In 2015, Alabama suffered from 77 fatal crashes. Nationwide, the picture is even more troubling. Motorcycle deaths exceeded 5,000 in 2015, which was a 10% increase over the figures from 2014. Comparatively speaking, then, Alabama is doing a better job of keeping motorcyclists safe compared to the nation as a whole.
Still, the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association provides key insights into why the rise in motorcycle fatalities might be occurring.
Factors That Are Likely Having an Influence on the Number of Motorcycle Fatalities
The aforementioned report found trends to support the rise of motorcycle crashes that date back to the mid-1990s. Specifically, the number of registered motorcycles doubled between 1997 and 2008, leading to 7.7 million motorcycles in 2008 as opposed to the 3.8 million registered in 1997. During this period, there was a yearly pattern of ever increasing motorcycle deaths, but that trend was halted in 2009. In 2009. America was undergoing a major economic recession, and the study concludes that this led to fewer people traveling for recreational purposes.
Each year, however, can also create isolated trends, so it is important to not give too much focus to one year of data. For example, 2012 fatalities increased because of unusually warm and dry weather. The long-term trends, however, still show that the risk to motorcyclists has grown significantly over the past two decades. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association study, there were half as many motorcycle deaths in the mid-1990s compared to now. Compare this figure with the reality that overall traffic fatalities have declined by 20%, and it is clear that the risk to motorcyclist safety is a unique traffic safety issue.
While improved safety measures and features have been implemented in cars, trucks and SUVs, motorcycles have undergone little change with regards to safety features. Given these facts, perhaps it should come as little surprise that the National Highway Transportation Safety Association concluded that, per mile driven, motorcycles have a 26 times higher fatality rate than passenger vehicles.
Motorcyclists need to exercise the utmost care and caution in order to stay safe on Alabama roads and roads across this country. If you or a loved one has been injured in an Alabama motorcycle accident, talk with an experienced Alabama accident attorney to determine whether you are entitled to legal compensation.
Noel B. Leonard holds negligent parties accountable for their actions and works to get Alabama motorcycle accident victims the compensation needed to repair and rebuild their bodies and lives. From his office in Foley, Noel represents injured motorcycle accident victims in Foley as well as those living in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.
Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to discuss your Alabama motorcycle accident case.