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Motorcycles in the U.S.: The facts

Motorcycle accidents happen every day in the United States. In 2012, there were 4,986 accidents across the country resulting in fatalities. In 2013, that number dropped to 4,668, but there's still improvements that could be made.

Motorcyclists are at a higher risk of fatal accidents if they are struck; in 2013, fatalities took place 26 times more frequently than fatalities involving passenger car occupants. Motorcyclists are also more likely to be injured because of the lack of protective elements around them at the time of accidents.

There are millions of motorcyclists on the roads; as of 2013, over 8 million people drove a motorcycle. Contrary to what some would have you believe, most of these riders do, in fact, have licenses. Only around 25 percent involved in fatal crashes didn't have a valid motorcycle license to be on the road.

With so many dangers on the road, it's important for motorcyclists to do what they can to stay safe. Taking special courses in maneuvering, signaling before changing lanes, never lane sharing and avoiding blind spots can all help prevent crashes. Of course, most accidents are actually caused by motorists. Motorists need to be vigilant about watching for motorcyclists. Motorcyclists should not be followed too closely from behind and should have a full lane for traveling. Drivers should always signal and never pull out in front of an oncoming motorcyclist, because motorcycles may seem to be traveling slower than they are. If you're struck by someone not obeying these simple road rules, then you may need to file a claim.

Source: Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, "Motorcycle Safety," accessed March 07, 2016

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