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Number of motorcycle injuries down; fatalities up

According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of people injured in a motorcycle accident during 2015 dropped by a little over 4 percent, down to 88,000 injuries from 92,000 injuries in 2014.

Unfortunately, the number of deaths due to motorcycle accidents rose over 8 percent, from 4,594 in 2014 up to 4,976 in 2015.

Although these relatively new 2015 statistics have yet to be analyzed fully, several recent statistical trends also bear mentioning. For instance, while 34 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved alcohol, this is not significantly different from the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities in other types of passenger vehicles, meaning that no one should assume motorcyclists have a particular problem with impaired driving. On a somewhat related point, less than half of all fatalities, around 40 percent, involved a motorcyclist who was not wearing a helmet.

Another key statistic is that motorcyclists are much more likely, in fact about 27 times more likely, to die in a motorcycle crash than are people who are traveling in a passenger vehicle. Moreover, their chances of being significantly injured in a crash are almost quintupled.

While the relatively high fatality and injury rate may have a lot to do with the design of motorcycles, that fact is all the more reason why motorists in and around Cary, North Carolina, need to be on the lookout for them. When motorists don't pay attention to motorcycles, serious accidents can be the end result. In such cases, an injured motorcyclist or, in the case of death, the motorcyclist's close relatives, can seek compensation for their losses.

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