Officials Still Concerned about High Number of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

4,381 people died in motorcycle accidents across the United States in 2013, a slight drop from the year before (4.695), but still significantly higher than 1997, when only 2,056 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents.

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that as the total number of fatal traffic accidents has dropped dramatically, from over 42,000 in 1997 to less than 33,000 in 2013, the number of motorcycle-related deaths has gone up and remains high. In 1997, motorcyclists were involved in only 5% of all fatal traffic accidents. Over the last six years, bikers have accounted for approximately one in eight fatal crashes.

The study found that just over four of every ten fatal motorcycle accidents involved only the motorcyclist, a statistic that researchers say is essentially unchanged over the last 30 years. The average age of those killed in motorcycle accidents has steadily risen over the same time period, though. Between 1975 and 1985, nearly 80 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involved riders under the age of 30, and about three percent involved riders over the age of 50. During the last five years, the percentage of motorcycle deaths involving riders over the age of 50 has actually surpassed the percentage of deaths involving riders under the age of 30. In 2013, 34% of all motorcycle accident fatalities involved riders over the age of 50, and only 27% involved bikers under the age of 30.

Fatal motorcycle accidents overwhelming take the lives of men. In 2013, less than 10% of the deaths reported from motorcycle crashes were of women. Furthermore, statistics show that 61% of the women who died in motorcycle wrecks were passengers.
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