NHTSA: Motorcycle injury & fatality rates drop in 2013

According to a report issued in mid-December by NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities dropped 6.4 percent in 2013.  “This was the first decrease in motorcyclist fatalities since 2009 [and] the only other decrease since 1997,” NHTSA reported.  More than half of the decline was attributed to a drop in older rider fatalities. Additionally, the injury rates associated with motorcycle accidents also dropped 5.4 percent from 2012. Alcohol-impaired fatalities dropped as well. “Motorcycle riders showed the greatest decrease in the number of alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes from 2012 to 2013, dropping 8.3 percent or by 117 riders. This was both the greatest percentage drop and the greatest drop in actual alcohol-impaired drivers,” NHTSA said. Some of the interesting points from the report include:
  • There were 190 fewer fatalities in the 50-to-69-year age group in 2013 than there were in 2012, NHTSA noted.
  • There were 4,668 motorcycle fatalities in 2013 vs. 4,986 in 2012 and 4,630 fatalities in 2011.
  • Motorcycle-related deaths accounted for 14.3 percent of all traffic deaths in 2013, down from 14.8 percent in 2012.
One of the most interesting statistics in the report shows that states without universal helmet laws reported 11 times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities than states with such laws: 1,704 vs. 150, respectively.

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