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Tennessee fares badly in motorcycle fatalities data

Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states for motorcycle crash-related fatalities in the nation. Photo submitted

By Tamas Mondovics

Motorists are at risk every time they take the wheel, but how much does that risk increase when getting behind the handlebars? Based on data by the National Highway Traffic Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), America’s roads witnessed more than 34,000 fatal accidents in 2016, the latest full year of data available. More than 15 percent of those deadly crashes involved a bike in some manner.Most often, motorcyclists themselves met a tragic fate; in more than 95 percent of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle, a rider died.

To better explore American motorcycle fatalities Nina Krstovic with Auto Insurance Center an agency that is responsible for the research and all the infographics and her team analyzed FARS, which collects data on all vehicle crashes in the United States that occur on a public roadway and involve a fatality to see how many motorcycle crash-related fatalities happen across the country.

Krstovic reported that unfortunately Tennessee stands out by being in the top 10of the list. “According to the data, Tennessee ranks eighth for the highest motorcyclist mortality rates in the U.S. relative to all registered vehicles, per 100K,” she said. “As a state with U.S. helmet laws, TN sees nine percent of motorcyclists who did not wear a helmet in fatal accidents.”

The report continued stating that of the 5,286 motorcyclists killed in traffic accidents 94 percent were riders and 6 percent of them passengers. “As the data shows, Tennessee is one of the most dangerous states for motorcycle crash-related fatalities in the nation,” Krstoic said. It is noteworthy too that for every 100,000 motorcycles registered nationwide, 60 operator or passenger deaths occurred – a rate that is more than six times that of standard passenger cars.

Trucks had an even better record, with a fatality rate nearly eight times lower than that of motorcycles. Relative to cars and trucks, many risky aspects of riding seem irresolvable: Bikes will never match their bulkier counterparts in protection or stability. Some safety advocates say that much can still be done to improve the safety of
motorcyclists, including the addition of anti-lock braking systems, a standard feature of cars and trucks since the 1990s. ABS tech is available in only a tiny portion of motorcycles on the market and could save hundreds of lives annually if widely implemented.

For a full report please go to Motorcycle Hazards

A full study from Auto Insurance Center can be found by visiting State of Fatal Motorcycle Accidents In America at