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Motorcycle injuries, fatalities up in 2012 compared to 2011

In many places across the country, riding a motorcycle is a seasonal activity. They get their nice months in the spring and summer, and then a little bit of time in autumn. The rest of the time, the motorcycle is placed under a cover and locked away in the garage until the snow, ice and cold passes.

However, here in Phoenix, Arizona, it's always motorcycle season. There are plenty of motorcyclists out on any given day in the city, and it makes our city in the Southwest a major motorcycling hub. This means it is important for motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles alike to know the statistics and risks associated with motorcycling.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly 5,000 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2012 (the exact figure is 4,957 fatalities). That marks a 7.1 increase from 2011 when only 4,630 people died in motorcycle crashes. This is a significant -- and scary -- increase.

Injuries from motorcycle crashes were also up in 2012 when compared to 2011. 2012 saw 93,00 people suffer injuries in motorcycle accidents, way up from 81,000 the year before.

When you consider that people on motorcycles were 26 times more likely to die in a crash than passengers in a car per mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured, it is clear that drivers of motor vehicles need to be on the look out for motorcyclists, and vice versa. If we all don't make a conscious effort to identify motorcyclists and proceed as carefully as possible around them, these figures will only get worse.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, "Motorcycle Crashes," Accessed Sept. 2, 2014

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