West Virginia Fatal Motorcycle Accident Statistics
West Virginia reported a total of 268 traffic deaths for the year 2015. The state has a rate of 14.53 per 100,000 population, which is above the national average of 10.92. This information is according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Twelve percent of the fatalities are motorcycle related with 32 for the year. This number is up slightly from 2014, which reported 26, and 2013 with 24.
A state helmet law is in effect in West Virginia for all persons riding a motorcycle regardless of age. In spite of this law, seven people out of the 32 who were killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident. This is a 78 percent helmet usage rate, which saved 15 lives for the year. It is slightly higher than previous years.
The majority of victims of motorcycle accidents were between the ages of 50 and 59 with nine total deaths reported. This is almost double most other age groups. Six deceased victims were reported to be over the age of 59 while the age groups 20-29 and 30-39 each had five fatalities. Three people who were killed were under the age of 20.
About half of the counties in West Virginia reported at least one motorcycle fatality while none had more than five for 2015. The majority of motorcycle-related deaths occurred in the southern portion of the state. Counties like McDowell and Summers reported one fatality for the year while Kanawha County had four, which was an increase from the one reported in 2014. Fayette County also went up from one in 2014 to two in 2015. McDowell and Mercer counties both reported one death for the year. In the northern portion of the state, Harrison County had one fatality, which was down from the four reported in 2014.