According to statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 210 motorcyclists were killed in accidents in Pennsylvania in 2012. This includes both operators and passengers of a motorcycle. Nationwide, the total number of motorcyclist fatalities reached 4,957 in 2012. While motorcyclists represented 15 percent of all traffic fatalities during that year, they comprised only 3 percent of registered vehicles and accounted for a scant fraction of the total miles traveled by motor vehicles throughout the country.
The statistics indicate an increased likelihood that motorcyclists will experience a serious accident in comparison to those traveling in other vehicles. In fact, NHTSA data shows that the fatality rate per 100 million miles traveled was .89 for passenger cars. For motorcycles, it was 23.27.
Injury rates, on the other hand, were about the same for motorcyclists as it was for other motorists. Because motorcyclists lack the protection offered by the size and standard safety features of most modern trucks and passenger cars, they are particularly susceptible to suffering severe or fatal injuries during a traffic accident. A noteworthy statistic reported by the federal transportation agency involves helmet use among motorcyclists who experienced an accident. Reportedly, half of the motorcyclists killed in Pennsylvania in 2012 were wearing helmets at the time of the crash. Pennsylvania law does not require that all riders wear helmets.
In a situation where a person is injured in a motorcycle accident, an attorney may help secure compensation for accident-related damages from the party at fault for the crash. Through civil action, injured accident victims may be entitled to restitution for medical costs, lost wages, and other damages. An attorney might also advise the family of a motorcyclist killed in a crash whether a wrongful death claim might be warranted. If so, bereaved family members may receive financial compensation for the economic losses they suffered.