The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has reported a 10% increase in motorcycle crash fatalities during 2015 vs 2014. The study estimated 5,010 deaths in 2015, compared to 4,548 the year before.
Why the increase?
30% of the fatal accidents involved the ever-present 2 most common factors: alcohol and speeding. Those numbers have remained relatively stable over the last decade or so.
However, there’s also been an increase in distracted driving. Smartphone sales skyrocketed in recent years, and as users become more comfortable with the technology, they’re also more tempted to use social media and text messaging while on the road. GPS apps can also be a distraction, especially when they aren’t properly mounted.
Researchers believe those dangerous driver habits, mixed with the way traffic patterns changed in 2015, can explain the uptick. The economy improved in 2015 while gas prices decreased. That means more people were on the road – both in cars and on motorcycles. More vehicles usually mean more accidents.
And while any increase is scary, the general trend is even scarier.
Motorcycle fatalities have DOUBLED since the mid-90s, even while overall road accidents have DECLINED by more than 20% in the same amount of time.
In 1997, motorcycles made up 5% of overall fatal accidents. In 2015, they were 14% of the total.
There are a number of things the GHSA proposes in order to curb this dangerous trend:
- Push stricter helmet safety laws in every state – the GHSA believes these laws could reduce deaths by 37%.
- Enforce steeper penalties on distracted driving, including nationwide texting while driving laws.
- Increase the use and availability of antilock breaks on motorcycles.
In the study, Tennessee ranked 13th in motorcycle deaths and was one of the states that saw an increase in fatalities over the last year. As a Memphis motorcycle crash lawyer, it’s no surprise to me that 12% of traffic fatalities in TN are motorcycle deaths.
I see bikers in my office all the time who did nothing wrong. Tragically, distracted driving can take everything from a motorcyclist, even if the biker was complying with every law in the book. And the insurance companies don’t always come through, leaving motorcycle drivers desperate at the very moment they need to focus on recovery.
That’s where I come in. Our Memphis motorcycle accident lawyers are here to help you get the compensation you need and deserve. We treat our clients with respect – you’re not just a statistic here.
If you’ve been in a motorcycle crash, don’t wait. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer for free.