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Motorcyclist fatalities increased in 2015

The number of motorcyclists and motorcycle passengers killed in accidents increased by 8.3 percent in 2015 according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the federal agency's figures suggest that those who choose to travel on two wheels are 29 times more likely to die on the roads than passenger vehicle or truck occupants. NHTSA accident statistics also reveal that recklessness is a worryingly common factor in fatal motorcycle crashes in West Virginia and around the country.

Road users often assume that young and inexperienced motorcyclists are responsible when they see motorcycles being ridden recklessly, but the NHTSA data reveals that 54 percent of the motorcycle riders killed on the roads in 2015 were 40 years of age or older. A study into motorcycle accidents conducted by researchers at Brown University found that older riders were also more likely to suffer serious injuries after a collision or fall, and this was put down to their slower response times and the more powerful machines that they tend to ride.

Alcohol consumption and excessive speed are alarmingly common factors in fatal motorcycle crashes according to NHTSA accident data. One in three of the motorcyclists killed in 2015 were speeding before they crashed according to the federal safety watchdog, and the figures also reveal that more than a quarter of them were riding with blood alcohol levels that would have led to a drunk driving charge had they been stopped.

The defendants in motorcycle accident lawsuits may argue that the plaintiffs acted negligently and were at least in part responsible for causing the crashes that injured them. Experienced personal injury attorneys will likely have encountered these arguments, and they may study witness statements and police reports closely for information that could be used to refute these claims.

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