U.S. authorities are reporting a disturbing 10% increase in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents across the country in 2015. Those statistics come from the Governors Highway Safety Association, which blames alcohol and drug use, higher speed limits, and an increase in the number of states repealing motorcycle helmet laws for this increase in fatalities.
According to the statistics, there were 5,010 motorcycle fatalities in 2015. That suggests an increase of 450 fatalities compared to the previous year. What makes these numbers even more alarming is that it is only the third year in American history in which the number of motorcycle fatalities has crossed the 5,000 mark.
The GHSA believes that enacting universal helmet laws would do much to help reduce the number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents every year. Currently, 32 states have no universal helmet use laws. The Governors Highway Safety Association believes that restoring these laws would be a highly effective way of reducing the number of fatalities. In states that have such universal helmet laws, the rate of helmet use is as much as 89%. In other states, the rates hover at about 48%.
If you are a motorcyclist, your chances of being injured in a serious or even fatal accident have probably never been higher. There are a record number of vehicles on American roads, and your chances of being involved in a collision with these are very high. Please take steps to protect yourself on the road.
Also, take extra care when making the decision to purchase a motorcycle. Buy one that has antilock brakes. These systems prevent the wheels from locking, and allow the motorcyclist to maintain stability and avoid an accident. If you are returning to motorcycling after many years, take a series of motorcycling refresher courses. If you have never ridden a motorcycle before, take advantage of beginner and advanced motorcycle training courses before you begin riding.