West Virginia Motorcycle Fatality Statistics
According to information gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 32 motorcycle deaths were reported in West Virginia in 2015. This number was up from the 26 reported in 2014 and the 24 for 2013. However, it is down from early in the decade when there were 40 fatalities in 2007 and 52 in 2008.
The state has a universal helmet law, which is evident in the statistics. Only seven of the 32 victims in 2015 did not have on a helmet. The universal law requires every rider, regardless of age, to wear a helmet when they are on a motorcycle. Though West Virginia has such a law, there was only 78 percent usage in 2015. This saved 15 lives, but another three might have been saved with 100 percent compliance.
Of those who were killed in motorcycle accidents during 2015, the majority were in the 50-59 age group. There were six in the over 59 age range while three were under the age of 21.
West Virginia recorded 57,278 motorcycles registered in 2014, which is consistent with previous years. The fatality rate per 100,000 registrations was 45.39, which was up slightly from the prior year but down from previous years.
Around half of the counties in West Virginia reported at least one death in 2015. None of them had more than five fatalities during the year. The majority of these counties are located in the southern part of the state. Kanawha County had four for the year, which was up from the one reported in 2011, 2012 and 2014. Fayette County, which was also in the lower part of the state, had two deaths for the year, which was up from one for the year before and zero for 2013.