Motorcycle Accident Statistics In Pennsylvania
We have reviewed the recent statistics for Pennsylvania related to vehicle crashes in the state. As a personal injury attorney, this is information I am very familiar with, but looking at these year to year statistical trends and spikes is an area of knowledge that I always stay very current on.
This article focuses on motorcycle crashes. In many ways, riders of motorcycles are very vulnerable. There are not as many motorcycles on the road compared to cars and trucks. Motorcycles were involved in only 2.7% of all motor vehicle crashes in 2014. However, that small percentage of total crashes accounted for between 16% and 17% of road fatalities in the state of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, motorcycle fatalities increased 5.1% from the previous year of 2013 – even though the amount of accidents they were involved in decreased by 4.2%.
There were 186 motorcycle rider deaths in 2014, and the statistics are broken down as 173 for the driver and 13 for the passenger on the bike.
Motorcycle Crashes & Helmets
Out of 2,179 motorcycle accidents where the rider or passenger was wearing a helmet, 80 deaths and 1,899 injuries occurred. 200 riders wearing helmets sustained no injuries and were not hurt. With no helmets in 1,382 accidents, 99 died and 1,168 were injured, with 115 who walked away OK after their motorcycle crashed.
The diligent use of motorcycle helmets clearly increases the protection to both the motorcycle operator and passenger.
Unlike some states like NY, helmets are not always required to operate or ride a motorcycle as a passenger. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation states:
“Pennsylvania Law requires that any person who operates or rides a motorcycle must wear protective headgear unless he or she is over 21 years of age or older and has either two years of riding experience or has completed a motorcycle safety course approved by PennDOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.”
It is a decision for the motorcyclist to make for themselves, but just like playing football, hockey or skateboarding, you may be lucky and not sustain injuries, but you do increase the chances and severity of the situation when an unfortunate incident occurs.
Motorcycle Accident Injury Cases
I wish I never had to experience another client injured in a motorcycle accident, but I know that will not be the case. Unlike being in a car, the bike driver and passenger are exposed without seatbelts, airbags and often without any protective gear. While many motorcyclists are excellent operators, well aware of their surroundings, proceed with caution, and know the capabilities of their bikes, the unexpected can still happen.
When it does, you need a capable accident attorney to investigate your particular case, evaluate it, and advise on how best to proceed. There are almost always multiple contingents involved – from insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, other vehicle drivers, bystanders who were injured and property owners that had their possessions damaged or destroyed. It can get complicated in a hurry.