Fatal motorcycle crashes decline, but still fairly frequent
With all the stories about violent accidents that we see and read about in the news, at least one statistic is positive: deaths in Texas motorcycle accidents dropped in 2012 by about 6 percent from the previous year. That represents 28 fewer people killed over the course of the year around the state.
However, over the last decade or so, fatal accidents in Texas and around the country have been on the increase. In fact, motorcycle deaths have gone up by 56 percent around the country since 2004.
It isn't clear what is causing these numbers to trend in a negative direction. However, researchers did note that more than half of all crashes involving a motorcycle in addition to another vehicle, that other vehicle's driver didn't see the motorcycle until it was too late.
More than half of the fatalities were suffered by riders who did not have a helmet. It wasn't clear how many of them might have survived their crashes had they been wearing a helmet, but it seems likely that more people would have been killed had they not been donning protective headgear.
The study also found that most fatal accidents happen within city limits as opposed to rural areas. This underscores the fact that many crashes are not simply caused by motorcyclists taking unneccessary risks but that drivers in urban areas with lots of traffic don't pay as much attention to their surroundings as they could.
Even though the numbers are down from the previous year that data was collected, concerned riders say that those traffic fatalities are still too many -- still 460 in 2012.
Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Texas motorcycle, scooter deaths down in 2012 but still higher than a decade ago," Jeff Mosier, May 5, 2013