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The Numbers are in on Motorcycle Safety Equipment

Everyone has heard countless times that whenever you ride a motorcycle, you should wear a helmet. But sometimes, for a drive to a friend’s house in the next neighborhood or to the fast food joint 3 blocks away, wearing a helmet seems unnecessary and overcautious. However, the statistics on motorcycle crashes show that a rider wearing proper safety gear is far more likely to escape serious injury or death than someone who neglected to put on their helmet. Read on for some statistics and reasons why you take safety measures when riding a motorcycle.

For the past two decades, motorcycle accidents have been causing ever rising levels of concern. According to, between 2008 and 2011, the total number of motorcycle accidents increased by 55 percent. In those 8 years, an estimated 1,222,000 motorcycle injuries were treated in emergency departments, and 34,000 people died in a motorcycle accident. There was also a substantial increase in the number of non-fatal injuries from motorcycles, from 120,000 in 2001 to 175,000 in 2008.

In 2011, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that there were 4,323 deaths due to motorcycle accidents. Perhaps one of the most frightening statistics on motorcycle crashes is the number of accidents caused by drunk driving. 42 percent of single vehicle crashes involving a motorcycle involved a rider with a BAC of higher than 0.8. Motorcycle drivers killed at night were three times more likely to have a 0.8 or higher BAC than riders killed during the daytime. Out of all motorcycle crashes in 2011, 33 percent involved alcohol, and 40 percent of the riders were not wearing helmets.

By following simple and basic safety rules and rules of common sense, a large number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities might be avoided. Wearing a helmet and not drinking before driving are easy tips to follow; and yet, the number of annual motorcycle deaths keeps rising. We at Sinclair Law hope people will take notice and stay safe. However, while we do recommend the use of a helmet, we also support a motorcycle rider’s choice on whether or not to wear a helmet.