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Motorcycle deaths across the country

Rhode Island residents may benefit from learning more about the traffic statistics collected by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to the NHSTA, 4,625 motorcycle riders were killed in motor vehicle collisions during 2012. Approximately 29 percent of these riders registered a blood alcohol content exceeding .08 percent. Rhode Island had for the highest proportion of impaired riders at 63 percent. Utah had the fewest deaths of impaired motorcyclists with a figure of around 3 percent.

The total number of motorcyclists, including both the rider and passenger, killed during 2012 was 4,957. There were more than 93,000 injured during 2012, increasing by 15 percent from the previous year. Under its definition of motorcycle, the NHTSA includes scooters, pocket bikes, mini bikes, three-wheeled motorcycles and mopeds as well. However, traditional two-wheel motorcycles account or 93 percent of the aforementioned total.

Despite accounting for the largest proportion of alcohol-related motorcycle deaths within a state, Rhode Island accounted for one of the lowest totals during 2012. The state only recorded eight motorcycle deaths during the year. According to the NHTSA, 75 percent of these deaths involved the motorcyclists riding with no helmet. Data suggests that only 42 percent of the 4,957 U.S. deaths during 2012 involved motorcyclists not wearing a helmet.

People adversely affected by motorcycle accidents may be entitled to collect restitution through civil action if the incident was caused by another individual. Surviving relatives of deceased victims may be able to file a wrongful death claim. Plaintiffs in these cases may be awarded compensation to help account for loss of income, medical expenses and other related hardships resulting from the defendants' negligence in causing the crash.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles", October 14, 2014

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