In 2016, this blog featured an article on motorcycle fatalities in Pennsylvania, focusing on and comparing what were the most recent statistics to date for the years 2014 and 2015. In the latter year, the number of fatalities increased by 10 percent from 2014. Today’s blog examines whether this type of fatalities has continued to increase. Based on 2017 statistics, thankfully, they have not.
2015 was only the third time in history that the number of motorcycle fatalities exceeded 5,000 across the country. However, while motorcycle fatalities generally increased in most of the U.S., they decreased in sixteen (16) states, including Pennsylvania.
Most recent statistics recorded and maintained by Pennsylvania are for the year 2017. Although motorcycle fatalities and injuries increased in Pennsylvania in 2016, they decreased in 2017. In fact, Pennsylvania experienced a record low number of traffic fatalities, 1,137, in 2017.
Motorcycles generally have a fatality rate that is more than 25 times the fatality rate of cars and other passenger vehicles. Motorcycle helmets typically decrease the risk of a fatal crash by over 35 percent. Currently, only 19 states and the District of Columbia have universal helmet laws. Pennsylvania only requires riders under the age of 21 to wear a helmet and makes it optional for anyone over 21 with two years of riding experience.
There were 185 motorcycle fatalities in Pennsylvania in 2017 compared to 192 in 2016, a decrease of just under four percent. Motorcycle injuries also decreased by 8 % in 2017 from 3,321 in 2016 to 3,052. Motorcycle fatalities represented 16.2 % of all motor vehicle fatalities in Pennsylvania while motorcycle injuries accounted for just over 3% of all vehicle crash injuries.
In 2017, Motorcyclists had the largest percentage of drinking drivers to total drivers as compared to the drivers of other types of vehicles in alcohol-related accidents. 9.1% of drinking drivers involved in crashes were riding motorcycles.
While current statistics offer some hope, it is not unusual for the trend to reverse itself the following year. Regardless of statistics, if you ride a motorcycle, you must do so with the utmost care on the roads and highways of Pennsylvania. Obey traffic laws, ride defensively, and wear a helmet.
If you live in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and the surrounding area and have suffered an injury due to your involvement in a motorcycle accident, contact Powell Law. We recognize that having a tremendous support staff is as important as having outstanding attorneys. Our always friendly and helpful staff will efficiently handle all tasks and clearly answer all questions that are important and specific to a client’s particular case. Powell Law’s unsurpassed qualifications make it an obvious choice for representation in personal injury cases in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area. Contact Powell Law at call (570) 961-0777. The consultation is FREE.