What Percent of Motorcycle Crashes Are Fatal in Utah?

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents have a very high rate of death, largely due to the absence of seatbelts, airbags, and protective walls to enclose riders and passengers when crashes happen.  Even though motorcycle crashes are less common than car accidents, they are more likely to result in fatalities when they do occur.  Salt Lake City motorcycle accident lawyer Darwin Overson examines recent statistics to determine what percentage of motorcycle accidents are fatal in the state of Utah – and whether crashes are becoming more or less deadly over time.

Utah Motorcycle Accident Statistics Reveal Deadliest Year for Crash Fatalities

Motorcycle Wreck - What Percent of Motorcycle Crashes Are Fatal in Utah?

The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) is an excellent resource for detailed statistics on auto accidents in Utah.  Every year, the DPS releases a series of reports on vehicular accidents, including information about specific crash factors like drunk driving, speeding, and other driver errors.  The DPS analyzes data about Utah car accidents, pedestrian accidents, and bicycle accidents, but this article will focus on motorcycle crashes – the outcomes of which are often tragic.

As of October 2016, the most recent report available on Utah motorcycle accidents is from 2014.  You can view the 2014 report in its entirety through the Utah Department of Public Safety.

According to the report, there were 11,460 total motorcycle crashes from 2005 to 2014.  The worst year for crashes was 2008, when 1,405 accidents occurred.  Unfortunately, with 1,179 accidents reported, 2014 was not far behind.  In fact, as a separate DPS crash summary from 2014 pointed out, “Motorcyclist deaths in 2014 were the highest on record.”

The 1,179 motorcycle accidents that occurred in 2014 accounted for 2.2% of the 54,036 auto accidents reported that year, most of which involved passenger cars.  Yet despite accounting for just 2.2% of the total accidents in 2014, motorcycle crashes accounted for a disproportionately large number of fatalities.  A total of 256 people were killed in auto accidents in 2014, 45 of them in motorcycle accidents.  That means even though motorcycle crashes only made up 2.2% of the accidents in 2014, they made up nearly 18% of the fatalities. 

What Percentage of Utah Motorcycle Crashes Are Fatal for Riders or Passengers?

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Sadly, it is clear that motorcycle crashes are disproportionately likely to result in death, largely because bikers and their passengers have so few of the life-saving protective features found in passenger cars and other vehicles.  But what percentage of Utah motorcycle accidents are fatal?  This question can be answered by making a few calculations – and, by comparing the results from year to year, it’s also possible to see whether crashes have gotten more or less deadly with time.

  • There were 1,179 total motorcycle crashes in 2014, and 45 of these crashes were fatal.  That means about 3.8% of all Utah motorcycle accidents were fatal in 2014.  (There were also 45 fatalities that year, but in other years, fatalities and fatal crashes weren’t always matched.  There are generally slightly more fatalities than there are fatal crashes, indicating multiple victims in one or more accidents.)
  • In 2013, there were 1,069 total motorcycle crashes, 30 of which were fatal (31 fatalities).  In other words, approximately 2.8% of all Utah motorcycle accidents in 2013 were deadly.
  • In 2012, there were 1,229 total motorcycle crashes in Utah.  Like in 2013, a total of 30 of these crashes were fatal (32 fatalities).  These figures mean about 2.4% of all Utah motorcycle accidents in 2012 were fatal.
  • In 2011, there were 1,226 total motorcycle crashes, 27 of which were fatal (28 fatalities).  That means roughly 2.2% of the 1,226 Utah motorcycle accidents reported in 2011 were fatal.
  • In 2010, there were 1,049 motorcycle crashes in Utah.  A total of 20 of these accidents were fatal, with 21 fatalities reported.  That means approximately 1.9% of Utah motorcycle accidents in 2010 were fatal.

Unfortunately, these statistics show that the percentage of Utah motorcycle accidents which are fatal has crept up each year, climbing from about 1.9% in 2010 to nearly 4% in 2014.

Contact a Salt Lake City Wrongful Death Attorney if a Family Member Was Killed in a Motorcycle Accident

If you lost a loved one to a fatal motorcycle accident in Utah, an experienced Salt Lake City wrongful death lawyer may be able to help you recover financial compensation for the resulting funeral expenses, lost income, and other losses.  While no amount of compensation can ever make up for the loss of a spouse or family member, it can help to provide the financial stability your loved ones need and deserve as you move through this difficult time.

In many cases, crashes are caused by the careless actions of other drivers.  You have a right to seek justice, and to hold the person who struck your loved one accountable for their negligent actions.  Let Weber County motorcycle accident attorney Darwin Overson provide a shoulder to lean on, and guide your family through the legal process with compassion and sensitivity.

We handle motorcycle accidents in Utah County and beyond.  To discuss your claim in a free and confidential legal consultation, call the law offices of Overson Law at (801) 895-3143.

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