Transportation

Motorcycle Fatalities Increase In Texas While Dropping Nationwide

DPS says there were nearly 500 motorcycle fatalities in Texas last year.

A new study shows a drop in the number of people killed in motorcycle accidents around the country, but here in Texas the numbers are up.

The Governors Highway Safety Association says there was a steady increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities in the U.S. between 1995 and 2008. In 2009 the number of deadly accidents dropped, but they were up again between 2010 and 2012.

As for 2013, researcher Jim Hedlund says they’re now seeing another decrease.

“The data for the first nine months of 2013 suggests that fatalities are down by about seven percent compared to 2012. That puts them right about at the same level they were in 2011 because there was about a seven percent increase from 2011 to 2012.”

Photo courtesy of the Oregon Department of Transporation
Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation/Flickr

And Hedlund thinks those up-and-down numbers have a lot to do with the weather. When temperatures warm, more people get on their motorcycles.

“The first six months of 2012 were unusually warm and unusually dry. The 2013 spring was very similar to 2011, cooler and wetter than 2012, and fatalities dropped back to the 2011 levels.”

While there’s a drop in motorcycle fatalities nationwide, the numbers are up here in Texas.

The Department of Public Safety says in 2013, close to 500 people were killed in motorcycle accidents on Texas roadways. That’s about a five percent increase from 2012.

DPS says motorcycle accidents last year accounted for about 15 percent of the state’s traffic fatalities.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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