Good news for all motorcycle riders. Due to greater safety training and concerns, fatalities have been trending downward in recent years. Although the explanations for this trend vary, one continuing theme becomes clear. Better training and use of helmets saves lives. Hopefully, more states will implement changes on better motorcycle safety education. Helmet laws are a different matter. In this area, we remain proponents of rider choice. We realize, of course, that it is safer to wear a helmet in the event of an accident. However, many riders contend that a full helmet interferes with vision as well as hearing which can actually cause accidents. No matter what your view, please be careful on the road and always watch out for the inattentive car or truck driver. Be Safe. Get Home.

At Reeves, Aiken & Hightower, LLP, all of our attorneys are seasoned trial lawyers with over 70 years combined experience. Whether it is criminal or civil, our litigators are regularly in Court fighting for our clients. Two of our firm’s partners, Art Aiken and Robert Reeves, are inducted lifetime members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Mr. Reeves has also been named one of the Top 100 lawyers for South Carolina in 2012 by the National Trial Lawyers Organization. And most recently, Mr. Reeves has been included in the SC Super Lawyers for 2012. Our attorneys include a former SC prosecutor, a former public defender, a former NC District Attorney intern, a former Registered Nurse (RN), and former insurance defense attorneys. As a result of their varied backgrounds, they understand the potential criminal, insurance, and medical aspects of complex injury cases. We would welcome an opportunity to sit down and personally review your case. Compare our attorneys’ credentials to any other law firm. Then call us today at 877-374-5999 for a private consultation. Or visit our firm’s website at www.rjrlaw.com.

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities

2010 Preliminary data

Prepared for Governors Highway Safety Association

By Dr. James Hedlund

Motorcyclist traffic fatalities in the United States continued to fall in 2010, based on preliminary data supplied by all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Motorcyclist fatalities dropped by 2.4% during the first nine months of 2010 across the 48 states and the District of Columbia that reported monthly data for these months.

Most states have quite complete traffic fatality counts for this period. Fatalities decreased substantially in the first quarter, decreased slightly in the second quarter, and rose slightly in the third quarter. While fatality data for the final months of 2010 are less complete in some states, motorcyclist fatalities for the full year nationwide are expected to be 4,376 or fewer, a decrease of at least 2% from the 4,465 fatalities of 2009.

About half the states are likely to have fewer motorcyclist fatalities in 2010 than in 2009, and about half are likely to have more. States with decreased motorcyclist fatalities suggested several explanations, including: higher priority for motorcycle safety education, publicity, and enforcement; increased motorcyclist training; and poor cycling weather. States with increased fatalities cited more motorcycle travel, lower helmet use, and good cycling weather.

The good news of 2010’s likely decrease in motorcyclist fatalities must be tempered with several disturbing observations. First, 2010’s predicted 2% decrease is far less than 2009’s 16% decrease. Second, the decrease was concentrated in the early months: fatalities dropped only slightly in the second quarter and rose in the third quarter. Next, it’s highly likely that motorcycle travel is increasing as the economy improves. Finally, use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets dropped an alarming 13 percentage points in 2010. To prevent an increase in motorcyclist fatalities in 2011, states should work to increase helmet use, provide motorcycle operator training to all who need or seek it, and reduce motorcyclist alcohol impairment and speeding.

Motorcyclist traffic fatalities in the United States dropped by 16% in 2009 to 4,465. This broke a chain of 11 consecutive years of increases that more than doubled motorcyclist fatalities from 2,116 in 1997 to 5,312 in 2008. Was the 2009 decrease the beginning of a long-term downward trend in motorcyclist fatalities similar to that from 1980 to 1997? Or was 2009 only a temporary bit of relief from the steady upward trend that began in 1997?