District of Columbia Motorcycle Crash Statistics
In urban areas with heavy traffic, riding a motorcycle may be more appealing. Drivers can often weave in and out of traffic, cutting down on commute in congested areas. Such is the case in Washington DC. The more people riding motorcycles, the greater the risk of an accident. In 2015, there were three motorcycle fatalities, two of which involved riders wearing helmets and one who was not.
DC has a universal helmet law for motorcycles, which means that all motorcyclists must wear a helmet when riding regardless of age. Studies show that when riders are required to wear helmets, fewer deaths occur.
According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle deaths have been low since 2008, when they hit the high point of eight fatalities. Since then, the number has dropped to four and finally to three in 2013-2015. Statistics show that DC has a helmet wearing rate of 67 percent, which has saved one life in 2015.
In 2014, there were 4,450 motorcycles registered in the District of Columbia. There was a total of 67.42 fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registrations, which is down from previous years. Additionally, the number of registrations has continued to increase each year.
Nationally, more motorcycle-related deaths occur in urban areas than in rural locations. Most of these accidents happen on major roads which are not interstates. About 28 percent of those fatally injured in a motorcycle accident in 2015 had recorded a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent which is above the legal limit. The percentage jumped up to 42 percent in a single-vehicle accident.
The majority of deaths on a motorcycle occur between 6 PM and 9 PM with numbers dropping significantly during morning hours. This information is according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).