Last Year Saw 10 Percent Rise in Motorcycle Deaths in U.S

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Last Year Saw 10 Percent Rise in Motorcycle Deaths in U.S
Last Year Saw 10 Percent Rise in Motorcycle Deaths in U.S

FRIDAY, May 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Motorcyclist deaths in the United States topped 5,000 last year -- a 10 percent increase from 2014, according to a new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Preliminary statistics suggest there were 5,010 motorcyclist deaths in 2015, which is 450 more than the previous year. It's only the third year in U.S. history and the first time since 2008 that the number of motorcyclist deaths was above 5,000, the report authors said. Compared with 2014, motorcyclist deaths rose in 31 states, fell in 16 states, and stayed the same in three states and the District of Columbia.

Restoring universal helmet use laws in the 32 states without them would be the most effective way to reduce motorcyclist deaths, according to the association. Only 19 states and the District of Columbia currently require all motorcyclists to wear helmets, while another 28 mandate helmets for riders younger than 18 or 21. Three states have no helmet laws.

"These sobering findings provide a stark reminder of how susceptible motorcyclists are to fatal and life-threatening injuries. The risk of motorcycle crashes and fatalities is compounded by factors such as alcohol and drug use, increased speed limits, the repeal of state helmet laws, and a record number of vehicles on U.S. roads," Richard Retting, coauthor of the report, said in an association news release.

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