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How common are fatal motorcycle crashes in West Virginia?

Although winter often means that most motorcyclists in West Virginia will have to put their bikes away for a few months, some die-hard bikers might hit the road a time or two. And, even if a motorcycle is put away until the weather is more ideal, motorcyclists should always consider motorcycle safety. This is especially true when purchasing a bike, equipment and safety gear. Taking extra caution could help reduce tragic incidents on the roadways.

How common are fatal motorcycle crashes in West Virginia? According to a report by the West Virginia Department of Transportation, which was based on data collected from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration between 2006 and 2010, the percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents during this time period was below the national average.

In 2010, 10.5 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the state were motorcyclists. The largest percentage of fatal motorcycle accidents in the state occurred in July, which is also the most common time for them to occur nationwide. Between 2006 and 2010, 36 fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in July.

Additionally, it was found that the majority of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred between the hours of noon and 9 p.m. According to the collected data, 116 fatal motorcycle crashes occurred during this time period between 2006 and 2010.

In the state of West Virginia, there is a mandatory helmet law. Nevertheless, between 2006 and 2010, data revealed that roughly 21.6 percent of those fatally killed in a motorcycle accident were not wearing a helmet at the time of the collision. This data includes passengers on motorcycles as well.

As the above information indicates, the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes in West Virginia is still concerning, even though it was below the national average during this time period. Gaining a better understanding of when motorcycle accidents occur could help the state better address motorcycle safety issues, while also help bikers improve their own safety.

In the event of a fatal motorcycle accident, it is important to understand the cause of the collision. This could help family member with a cause of action for the loss of a loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit could also help family member recover compensation, helping them cover expenses, such as medical bills, funeral costs, lost wages and other related damages.

Source:, "Analysis of Fatal Crash Data: West Virginia: 2006-2010," accessed Jan. 25, 2016

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