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Research shows an increase in motorcycle fatalities

The roads in New Jersey and throughout the U.S. may be getting more dangerous for motorcyclists, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While the overall injuries resulting from accidents involving motorcyclists are down, there has been an increase in fatalities.

NHTSA data shows that in 2015 there were 4,976 people killed in motorcycle accidents. This was an increase of 8.3 percent from 2014, when there were 4,594 people killed. The same period saw a decrease of 4.3 percent in injuries, from 92,000 in 2014 to 88,000 in 2015. During 2015, motorcyclists represented 14 percent of all people killed in traffic accidents and 4 percent of those injured. However, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die from a crash per mile travelled than car riders.

Speeding was involved in 33 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents. This was a much higher rate than for passenger car, light truck and large truck collisions. Alcohol use was another important factor. In 2015, 27 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had a BAC higher than 0.08 percent. Licensing is also a problem, as 27 percent of riders in fatal accidents did not have a valid license at the time of the incident. Finally, helmet usage also impacted the chance of injuries or death from a motorcycle crash. In 2014, for example, motorcyclists in states without universal helmet usage laws were 10 times more likely to die from a crash.

Victims of motorcycle accidents might want to pursue claims for the damages. A personal injury lawyer could help gather evidence to show liability, such as police reports that show speeding or alcohol use was a factor in the crash.

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