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Motorcycle crash statistics

When motorcyclists are involved in collisions, many are injured or killed at a rate much higher than that for people riding in passenger cars, both in New Jersey as well as the rest of the country. Although failing to wear a helmet accounts for some of those killed, many people who are wearing helmets at the time of a wreck also lose their lives.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration released statistics about motorcycle accidents for the 2012 year. In that year alone, 77 motorcyclists were killed in New Jersey. 89 percent of those killed were wearing helmets, while 11 percent were not.

Nationally, 4,957 motorcyclists were killed during the year, while another 93,000 were injured in motor vehicle collisions. In 41 percent of all fatal accidents, the cyclist died after colliding with a vehicle that was turning left in front of them. The statistical study revealed that motorcyclists were six times more likely to be killed in an accident than people who were riding in other types of motor vehicles. Motorcycle traffic fatalities made up 15 percent of all traffic fatalities across the nation for the year.

There are several factors leading to the prevalence of motorcycle accidents and the increased fatality and injury rate for cyclists. Alcohol, speeding and the inattentive or negligent driving of others can all be causes. When a motorcyclist is seriously injured or killed because of the negligence or recklessness of another driver, the victim or his or her family may be able to seek recovery from the driver for their compensatory losses. Negligent drivers may be held to be liable in such situations, and may have to pay the victim's medical expenses, property losses, pain and suffering and other associated damages.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles", October 19, 2014

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