Texas consistently ranks at the top of the list of the highest rates of motorcycle accident fatalities. Those numbers saw a downward decline in 2014, but the picture is still far from pretty. According to motorcycle accident statistics released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, in 2013, Texas had:
- 491 fatalities recorded that year, the highest in the U.S.
- 37 more than 2012 (454)
Texas, Florida, and California accounted for approximately 31 percent of all motorcycle fatalities in the United States in 2013. This could be due to higher populations in those states.
The “good” news: between January and September of 2014, there were:
- 393 motorcyclist fatalities
- 39 less than the same period in 2013
Does lack of helmet use contribute to high fatality rates in Texas?
Texas does not have universal helmet laws that require all motorcyclists and riders of all ages to wear helmets while riding. Experts blame the lack of these laws for the high fatality numbers in the Lone Star state.
Statistics indicate that states that have universal helmet laws have much higher rates of motorcycle helmet usage (89 percent). However, in states that lack such laws (such as Texas), the rate is only around 48 percent.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2013, for states with partial helmet laws (such as Texas), 56 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet. That translates into far too many motorcyclists who had absolutely no protection from serious head injuries in an accident.
How do you stay safe while riding in Texas?
You can reduce your chances of involvement in an accident, by wearing a helmet, and other safety gear, every time you ride. The law does not require you to do so, but it is plain common sense and significantly reduces your risk of head injury. Avoid operating a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol. If you are a novice motorcyclist, take a motorcycle safety training program before riding in traffic.
If you suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident anywhere in Texas, you could possibly qualify for a claim to recover damages. Contact motorcycle accident lawyer Julie Johnson to learn about your rights to a claim: 214-290-8001.