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Motorcycle traffic safety statistics and facts

For motorcyclists in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a report produced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regarding 2012 traffic data may provide important insight. For example, the study shows nearly 5,000 people on motorcycles were killed that year in vehicle accidents. This figure is a 7 percent increase from 2011.

In addition to these deaths, at least 93,000 motorcyclists received injuries in motor vehicle traffic crashes during 2012, which is an increase of 15 percent from 2011's total. The NHTSA report includes mopeds, off-road cycles, two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, mini bikes, scooters and pocket bikes in its statistics. Ninety-three percent of all motorcycles involved in fatality accidents in 2012 were two-wheeled.

Of the total number of traffic fatalities in the year studied, motorcyclists made up 15 percent of the deaths. When breaking down the number of motorcyclists killed that year, the study found that 332 victims were passengers who were merely seated on the cycles, and 4,625 were individuals who were operating the vehicles. Fifty-five motorcyclists lost their lives in Minnesota during 2012, and 75 percent of them were not wearing helmets at the time of the crash.

When a motorcycle is involved in an accident with a larger vehicle, the cyclist may be at greater risk of being seriously injured or killed due to the size of the other vehicle. Helmets may seem to help minimize deaths or injuries, but if the other driver is handling his or her vehicle in a negligent manner, a helmet might not be able to sufficiently protect the cyclist from potential results. In cases where accident investigations reveal negligence on the part of another driver, an attorney might be able to file a civil lawsuit on behalf of a victim in an attempt to hold that driver responsible for damages.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles", October 14, 2014

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