In 2010, 4,502 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S., a slight increase from the 4,469 in 2009. In addition, over 83,000 motorcyclists were injured. Many of these injuries and deaths could have been prevented if more motorcycle riders and their passengers wore helmets. Wearing a helmet lowers a motorcycle rider’s risk of fatal injury by 37%. Despite the documented effectiveness of helmets, many motorcyclists choose not to wear them, especially when state laws don’t require helmet use. Currently, only 20 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require helmet use by riders of all ages. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,550 motorcyclists in 2010. And if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 706 lives could have been saved.
Per vehicle mile traveled in 2010, motorcyclists were about 30 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and 5 times more likely to be injured. While motorcycles made up no more than 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S., motorcyclists account for 14% of total traffic deaths. In 2010, 35% of all motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 23% for passenger car drivers, 19% for light-truck drivers, and 8% for large-truck drivers.
In West Virginia, motorcyclists are subject to the same speed restrictions as other vehicles. Any speed in excess of the following speeds is evidence of unreasonable driving:
- 15 mph approaching a school crossing
- 25 mph in a business or residential district
- 55 mph in other locations, unless the director of highway traffic states otherwise. W. Va. Code § 17C-6-1.
In all matters involving personal injury it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the Statute of Limitations. If you or a loved one is a victim of personal injuries, call Hamstead, Williams & Shook P.L.L.C. now at 888 – 298 – 2529. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a Contingent Fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.