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Massachusetts Motorcycle Accidents a Concern Despite Lower Fatality Rates

A recent report from state transportation officials found that motorcycle deaths dropped 2 percent in the first nine months of last year, according to The New York Times. Many aren’t convinced, saying this decrease may just signal a blip and may mean absolutely nothing toward a lasting improvement in safety.

The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that there were 80 fewer motorcyclist fatalities in Boston and elsewhere in the United States from January through September of 2010 than the same time period of the previous year.
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But wait, there’s a catch. While fatalities were down 25 percent during the first three months of the recorded period, they were down 1 percent during the second three months and up 3 percent during the last three months. This increase has many safety advocates worried.

“The drop is all in the front half of the year,” said report author Jim Hedlund, a safety consultant. “It looks very much as if we’ve hit bottom and may be starting back up again.”

A spokesman for the safety group that issued the report, Jonathan Adkins, says that recreational motorcycle riding appears to have declined while the recession was at its worst. He adds that this may be the reason why the number of deaths decreased.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 5,300 motorcyclists were killed, and an additional 96,000 injured, in 2008. Massachusetts contributed more than 40 motorcyclist deaths to the national number in the same year. It is estimated that, nationwide, motorcycle helmets saved more than 1,800 motorcyclists in 2009 and could have saved an additional 823 if all were wearing helmets.

Currently, only 21 states require that helmets be worn by motorcyclists. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, only 13 of those states specify that the helmet needs to meet federal standards.

Boston motorcycle accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman, LLC, have more than 18 years experience handling serious and fatal traffic accident cases. If you have been injured or someone you love has been injured or killed in a Boston-area accident, talking with an experienced attorney can help you better understand your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our offices at 1-877-617-5333.