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2012 national and state motorcycle crash statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a motorcycle as an off-road motorcycle, two- or three-wheeled motorcycle, moped, scooter or mini bike. In 2012, national traffic crash data recorded 4,957 motorcyclist deaths and 93,000 motorcyclist injuries. In Kentucky, 106 motorcyclists died in accidents.

Motorcyclists accounted for 15 percent of all traffic accident deaths in 2012. Among these fatalities, 7 percent were passengers and 93 percent were drivers. Motorcyclists also accounted for 4 percent of all injured traffic accident occupants.

The 2012 data also shows that 8 percent of the fatally injured drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of between .01 and .07 while 29 percent had a BAC of .08 or higher. Additionally, 59 percent of fatally injured drivers and 48 percent of passengers were wearing helmets. An estimated 42 percent of all motorcyclists who died in 2012 were not wearing helmets.

In Kentucky, 95 of the 106 motorcyclists killed were driving, and while 27 percent had a BAC of .01 to .07, 24 percent had a BAC of .08 or higher. Of the total motorcycle deaths, 36 were wearing helmets but 64 percent were not. The state does not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets.

While speed or drunk driving could be a contributing factor in a motorcycle accident, distracted driving might also put lives at risk. When another vehicle driver is at fault in such a collision, an injured motorcyclist might file a personal injury case for restitution. Similarly, the family members of a fatally injured motorcyclist could file a wrongful death case. These plaintiffs may gain a better understanding of their entitlement after talking to lawyers.

Source: NHTSA, "Traffic Safety Facts", December 02, 2014

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