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Motorcycle accident facts for Arkansas residents

For the year 2012, there was a 7 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities and a 15 percent increase in injuries from 2011. Overall, the 4,957 deaths were the third highest since 2003. The 93,000 injuries in motorcycle crashes in 2012 was also the third-highest total since 2003. However, this may be partially the result of the highest number of vehicle miles traveled in 2012 compared to any other year since 2003.

Of those who were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2012, 93 percent of those who died were those riding the motorcycle. Overall, a motorcyclist was 26 times more likely to be killed and five times more likely to be hurt in an accident per each mile traveled. Compared to a person in a passenger car, a motorcyclist is six times more likely to be killed in an accident. However, they are not at a statistically higher risk to be injured in an accident.

Typically, a motorcycle accident occurs when the motorcycle strikes the back of a passenger car or another vehicle. Only 7 percent of motorcycle crashes involved a motorcycle being struck in the rear. In crashes with passenger vehicles, most motorcycles were struck by vehicles turning left while the motorcycle was going straight.

Those who are injured in motorcycle accidents may be able to take legal action against the driver who caused the accident. This is true even if the responsible driver passes away in the crash. If successful, a personal injury attorney may be able to help injured parties win compensation in court. Compensation may cover medical bills, long-term care costs and other expenses related to the crash. It may also be possible to win punitive damages to account for the driver's negligence in the accident.

Source: US Department of Transportation , "Motorcycles", December 01, 2014

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