Each year in Tennessee and in the United States, many motorcyclists are injured in motor vehicle accidents, sometimes fatally. While lack of helmet use can result in a higher likelihood of fatal injury, in 2012, 93 percent of the 139 motorcyclists killed in accidents in Tennessee were wearing helmets.

According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA), the national statistics for 2012 were also grim. The year brought a total of 4,957 motorcyclist fatalities in accidents, a number that had increased by seven percent from the prior year. Additionally, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured as a result of collisions, a 15-percent increase from 2011.

Motorcycle fatalities represented 15 percent of all of those killed for the year in motor vehicle accidents. Even though motorcycles represented only .7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled for the year, they were over 26 times more likely to be killed in an accident than occupants in passenger motor vehicles per mile traveled. Of fatally injured motorcyclists, 52 percent died as a result of colliding with another moving motor vehicle while 7 percent of those were struck from the rear by another car.

Many times, motorcycle accidents are caused by inattentiveness of other drivers while turning left or passing on highways. When a motorcyclist is killed by the carelessness or negligence of another driver, the other driver may be civilly liable to pay the motorcyclist’s family damages. Depending on the individual facts of the case, families may be able to recover funeral expenses, lost income, loss of companionship and more. Families may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney who may be able to determine whether there is a case to recover such damages.

Source: NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis, “Motorcycles“, October 11, 2014