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Motorcycle accident deaths drop, may be an anomaly

Many people across the country experienced cooler than usual weather in 2013, and lower temperatures may have been a contributing factor to the drop in motorcycle deaths from 2012, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. The American Motorcyclist Association's vice president of governmental affairs indicated that the decrease was good news, but experts are saying that the lower number of death from motorcycle accidents last year was an anomaly for much of the country, with 2009 being the only other year showing a decrease since 1997.

Even though the number of motorcyclist deaths in 2013 decreased 7 percent from the year before, there were still 4,610 people killed. Because the GHSA report did not conclusively show why the drop in deaths occurred, another study, sponsored by the federal government and the American Motorcyclist Association, was ordered and is planned to be released in 2015.

While fewer people being killed in motorcycle accidents is a positive thing no matter the reason, it is important to look at long-term safety. If the drop was primarily due to cooler, wetter weather, the number of deaths is likely to rise back up again, and possibly increase, with warmer temperatures and dry conditions.

Also not considered in this particular study is the number of people who are not killed in motorcycle accidents but are severely injured. As spring turns to summer, more and more motorcycles will be on the road in Arizona, and distracted drivers can cause major accidents and catastrophic injuries to riders. Riders who suffer head trauma, broken bones or other injuries may be able to receive compensation through a civil suit if the other party is found at fault.

Source: Governing, "Motorcycle Deaths Decline in 2013" Daniel C. Vock, May. 06, 2014

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