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Motorcyclist deaths on the rise in the 2000s

Motorcycle accidents can be deadly for the people riding as well as those who are in the other vehicle. As motorcycles become more popular as a way to save money on fuel or to travel with a lower carbon footprint, it's important for drivers to be more aware of these motorcyclists. As a motorcyclist yourself, you know that it can be dangerous on the roads. How dangerous is it, though?

There are a few things that can affect your safety. For instance, you know that your motorcycle is less stable and visible than a larger passenger vehicle. You have less protection against a crash, too, and that can lead to serious injuries on impact.

The federal government has shown that motorcyclists were killed 26 percent more often than passengers in cars in 2013, showing that these issues can add up to high fatality rates.

The most common injury for motorcyclists are head injuries. Serious head injuries can sometimes be prevented with helmet use, but only 19 states along with Washington, D.C. require helmet use for riders of all ages. While many may have survived their head injuries with helmet use, the problem of other vehicles failing to see the motorcyclists remains.

Motorcycle crash deaths make up around 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths based on data from 2013. These deaths are on the rise, and they have risen to over twice as many deaths as there were in 1997. To reduce these deaths, it's best to wear a helmet and to drive safely, but it's also important for other drivers to be aware of the motorcyclists on the road.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Motorcycles and ATVs," accessed Aug. 17, 2015

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