Fatal Motorcycle Stats – Arkansas
According to estimates by the National Safety Council, since 2014, AR has been showing double-digit growth in the number of traffic deaths. Preliminary crash figures show 547 fatal crashes in 2016. This is an increase from 531 deaths in 2015 and 469 deaths in 2014. 529 motorists on average lose their lives every year in AR, and nearly 3205 get seriously injured on state roadways (based on data from 2010-2014).
Primary Causes of Accidents
Alcohol-related fatalities from 2010-2014 averaged around 146 per year which translates into 29% alcohol related fatalities of total fatalities in Arkansas. Lack of seatbelt usage is another driving factor behind the increase in accidents. 48% of recorded fatalities in 2014 were unrestrained. Seat belt usage rate was 74.4% in 2014 which increased to 77.7% in 2015. There was a total of 26,866 seat belt convictions in 2015. A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that 212 lives were saved by seatbelts in Arkansas in 2015. If seat belt usage was 100%, 68 additional lives could be saved.
The use of drugs is another area of concern in Arkansas. Fatally injured drivers who tested positive for drugs fluctuated between 16 to 26% from 2010 to 2014. Easy availability of drugs and the rate of drug abuse in this state remain quite high. These include wide usage of marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. Although the Arkansas Crime Lab only tests fatalities for alcohol, it is expected that this will change and additional testing for drugs will be put in place in 2017.
Motorcycle Fatalities and Accidents
There are 92,921 registered motorcycles in Arkansas as of 2014. A total of 79 motorcycle accidents fatalities occurred in 2015. Of these 29 riders were helmeted and 48 were unhelmeted. Motorcycle-related fatalities account for nearly 13% of all traffic fatalities in Arkansas. From 2010 to 2014, there were 344 motorcycles involved traffic fatalities in the State.
67 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2014 out of which 42 people were not wearing helmets. Arkansas does not have universal helmet law which means that people over the age of 21 are not required to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. This wasn't always the case though. Arkansas' helmet law was repealed in 1997, and since then, motorcycle fatalities have tripled. Compared to only 23 motorcycle fatalities in 1997, the numbers have now jumped to 1372 motorcycle involved crashes in 2014.
A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that 18 lives were saved by the use of motorcycle helmets in Arkansas in 2015. Liz Chapman, a spokesman for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, believes that not wearing helmets is the number one reason for motorcycle related deaths. She also highlights that negligent and distracted drivers on the road can be careless and can also cause motorcycle accidents. Arkansas is also one of three states in the U.S. that does not have a motorcycle safety program in place.