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Motorcycle accidents in the United States

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcyclists killed or injured in accidents in Pennsylvania and across the country is on the rise. Driving without a valid license, elevated blood alcohol levels and not wearing a helmet are some factors that have contributed to this increase.

The NHTSA notes that almost one-fourth of those killed in motorcycle crashes in 2012 did not have a valid motorcycle license. That same year, over 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in accidents had a blood alcohol level of .08 g/dL or higher. This percentage was higher than it was for any other type of driver.

Out of the 4,957 motorcyclists killed in 2012, the NHTSA estimates that 781 of them could have been saved if they had been wearing helmets. It is estimated that helmets are 37 percent effective in saving motorcyclists' lives in accidents.

When people are injured or killed in motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania, victims' families may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation from liable parties. Attorneys may use police reports, eyewitness accounts, traffic camera footage and other available information to construct a clear picture of liability. If applicable, results of blood alcohol tests and field sobriety tests are also considered.

When a motorcyclist has engaged in unsafe driving practices such as not wearing a helmet or driving under the influence of alcohol, it can be tricky to clearly identify all responsible parties. While drivers are held accountable for not exercising due care on the road, other factors may also contribute to an accident. For example, the state or county may be liable for failing to correct unsafe road conditions like high speed limits or faulty traffic signals.

Source: NHTSA's National Center for Statistics and Analysis, "Traffic Safety Facts Motorcycles", October 21, 2014

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