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Motorcycle crash statistics demonstrate dangers

Many Colorado residents enjoy riding on motorcycles, but doing so brings added risks of being injured or killed in accidents. Motorcyclists face much greater risks of suffering catastrophic injuries when they are involved in collisions because they have little to protect them from the physical forces that are released in crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,976 people were killed while riding on motorcycles in 2015. The number of fatalities during the year represented an 8 percent increase over the 4,594 motorcyclists who were killed in 2014. In addition, another 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in accidents in 2015, which was a 3 percent decrease from the 92,000 who were injured in 2014.

The data revealed that motorcyclists who are at or over the age of 40 are much likelier to be injured or killed in motorcycle accidents than are younger riders. In 2015, 54 percent of the motorcyclists who were killed were in this demographic. Researchers at Brown University attribute this to the increasing fragility of older people combined with declines in vision and reaction times among other factors. Other causes that contributed to the accidents and injuries included alcohol use, speeding, operating without valid operators' licenses, riding sports bikes and not using helmets.

Many motorcyclists are also injured when they are hit by inattentive drivers who fail to notice them. When a car turns out in front of an oncoming motorcycle, the cyclist may not have enough time to stop. Motorcyclists who are injured by inattentive drivers may benefit by consulting with personal injury lawyers who may assist their clients by filing lawsuits against the negligent drivers seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.

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