U.S. motorcycle deaths up 10 percent in last year

May 19, 2016

(HealthDay)—Motorcyclist deaths in the United States topped 5,000 last year—a 10 percent increase from 2014, according to a new report.

"These sobering findings provide a stark reminder of how susceptible motorcyclists are to fatal and life-threatening injuries," said Richard Retting, co-author of the report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

"The risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities is compounded by factors such as alcohol and drug use, increased , the repeal of state , and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads," Retting said in an association news release. "Concerted efforts are needed to reduce this tragic loss of life."

Preliminary statistics suggest there were 5,010 motorcyclist deaths in 2015, which is 450 more than the previous year. It's only the third year in U.S. history and the first time since 2008 that the number of motorcyclist deaths was above 5,000, the report authors said.

Compared with 2014, motorcyclist deaths rose in 31 states, fell in 16 states and stayed the same in three states and the District of Columbia, the findings showed.

Restoring universal helmet use laws in the 32 states without them would be the most effective way to reduce motorcyclist deaths, according to the association. Only 19 states and the District of Columbia currently require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while another 28 mandate helmets for riders younger than 18 or 21. Three states have no helmet laws.

The rate of helmet use is 89 percent in states with universal helmet laws, compared with 48 percent in all other , a U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found in 2014.

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the highway association, said state and national data illustrate that motorcyclists are far more likely to be injured or killed in a crash than drivers of motor vehicles or their passengers.

He said the association will continue to support "the development, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-based motorcycle safety countermeasures to improve rider safety and, ultimately, save lives."

Safety experts say motorcyclists can reduce their risk of being killed in a crash by always using a Department of Transportation-approved helmet; wearing bright-colored clothing; obeying speed limits; and never riding while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

When buying a motorcycle, riders should select one with antilock brakes, which prevent the wheels from locking and help maintain stability during braking, the association said.

Explore further: Motorcycle accidents claiming fewer American lives

More information: The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more on motorcycle safety.

Related Stories

Motorcycle accidents claiming fewer American lives

May 6, 2014
(HealthDay)—Motorcyclist deaths in the United States appear to have decreased 7 percent in 2013, which would make it only the second year since 1997 in which there has been a decline, a new report shows.

Motorcycle deaths continue to climb, report says

April 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—An estimated 5,000 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roads in 2012, an increase of about 9 percent from the previous year, a new report shows.

When gas prices go up, so do motorcycle accidents, study finds

December 16, 2014
(HealthDay)—As gas prices rose in recent years, so did motorcyclist injuries and deaths, a new study suggests.

Universal helmet laws may help save young motorcyclists

October 29, 2014
(HealthDay)—A new study suggests that state laws requiring "universal" motorcycle helmet use—instead of helmet laws just for certain ages—may lower the rates of traumatic brain injuries in young riders.

Summer motorcycle season is here, stay safe

June 8, 2015
(HealthDay)—More motorcyclists are taking to U.S. roads, increasing the need for safety precautions, experts say.

Recommended for you

Male contraceptive compound stops sperm without affecting hormones

April 20, 2018
A new study published today in the journal PLOS ONE details how a compound called EP055 binds to sperm proteins to significantly slow the overall mobility of the sperm without affecting hormones, making EP055 a potential ...

A dose of empathy may support patients in pain

April 20, 2018
Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine suggests that empathic, positive messages from doctors may be of small benefit to patients suffering from pain, and improve their satisfaction about the care ...

New research suggests possible link between sudden infant death syndrome and air pollution

April 20, 2018
A study led by the University of Birmingham suggests a possible association between exposure to certain pollutants and an increased risk of so-called 'cot death'.

For heavy lifting, use exoskeletons with caution

April 20, 2018
You can wear an exoskeleton, but it won't turn you into a superhero.

New device to help patients with rare disease access life-saving treatment

April 19, 2018
Patients with a rare medical condition can receive life-saving treatment at the touch of a button thanks to a new device developed by scientists.

Low-cost anti-hookworm drug boosts female farmers' physical fitness

April 19, 2018
Impoverished female farm workers infected with intestinal parasites known as hookworms saw significant improvements in physical fitness when they were treated with a low-cost deworming drug. The benefits were seen even in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.