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Riding into danger: 5 motorcycle crash facts you may not know

Most people know that motorcycles are more dangerous to ride than other motor vehicles simply because of their nature. As the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety so aptly explains, "riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they're more likely to be injured or killed." But beyond this, few people think much more about the dangers of motorcycle riding or even about the statistics associated with motorcycle crashes.

In this post, we'd like to highlight five crash facts you may not know about motorcycles in the United States. The hope is that by calling attention to these important facts, we can start a dialogue about motorcycle accidents and raise awareness about this continuous problem.

1.) In 2015, 13 percent of all fatal motor vehicle collisions involved motorcycles.

While the number of motorcycle deaths has been declining since the early 1980's, explains the IIHS, motorcycle fatalities in 2015 alone reached a total of 4,693. Although the exact causes of these crashes is not included in the data published by the IIHS, it's possible that some of these crashes were due to distracted or intoxicated drivers or cases of drivers not paying enough attention to their surroundings before merging onto roadways or changing lanes.

2.) More than half of all motorcycle fatalities involve other vehicles.

Because of their vehicle's smaller size, motorcyclists often go unseen by other drivers, meaning they are vulnerable to collisions with other vehicles. In 2015, 59 percent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involved motorcyclists.

3.) Motorcycle deaths are on the rise for older people but declining for younger people.

Since the early 1980s, motorcycle deaths among people 50 years of age or older have been on a steady increase whereas the number of motorcycle deaths among younger riders, those less than 29 years of age, has been on the decline. It's possible that the decrease among younger riders is due in part to improved safety campaigns that target new or younger riders.

4.) More men are killed in motorcycle crashes than women.

In 2015, men made up a staggering 91 percent of all motorcycle deaths in the U.S. This statistic may not be surprising to some as motorcycling has been predominantly made up of men for decades despite a growing number of female riders over the years.

5.) Motorcycle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death for service members.

With several army, air force and national guard centers near Alpharetta, we felt it worth mentioning that "motorcycle-related fatalities continue to be a leading cause of death among service members unrelated to war," explains a December 2013 article for the Claims Journal. The article suggests that "greater efforts need to be made to encourage those most at risk [such as] young service members."

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