Good news for those who ride motorcycles in the US. Ok, maybe not entirely good news, but refreshing news considering the circumstances of the dangers involved in riding motorcycles anywhere. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has come out with the figures of motorcycle accidents in 2013. Here’s the good news: 2013 saw 4,668 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents in 2013, a decrease of 6.4 percent compared to the 4,986 fatalities in 2012.

Here’s the bad news: that’s still 4,668 deaths too many.

It’s next to impossible to see that number fall down to zero so we’re under no illusions that such a future is happening unless the US government decides to ban motorcycles altogether. That’s not going to happen anytime soon, either, so we better get used to the fact that a lot of people will die from motorcycle accidents every year. In fact, the NHTSA, through its Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data, also said that motorcyclist deaths account for 14.3 percent of US traffic fatalities in 2013, a small percentage drop compared to the 14.8 percent these types of accidents accounted for the year before.

The number of deaths also point to a disproportionately high number of fatalities while riding motorcycles. Consider that in 2012, 8,454,939 motorcycles were registered in the US, accounting for just 3.2 percent of all registered vehicles. Of the total miles travelled by all motor vehicles in the same year - a staggering 2.969 trillion miles - motorcycles only logged 21,298 billion miles, or 0.72 percent of the total number. So if you base it on these numbers, the NHTSA said that 23.4 deaths occur for every 100 million miles traveled. That’s a rate that’s 26 times larger than passenger vehicles.

So if you think that the decrease in motorcycle accidents in 2013 is a good thing, it’s still way too many in our minds.

Click past the jump to read more about NHTSA’s report on motorcycle fatalities in 2013.

Why it matters

We like making jokes here on TopSpeed, but road accidents, whether they’re the motorcycle or the vehicular kind, aren’t something that should be taken lightly. We do hope that drivers and riders take precaution anytime their inside their cars or riding their bikes.

Not everyone will heed this advice but for those who happen to put some kind of importance on their lives and the lives of others, this is the kind of reminder that should serve notice to anybody brazen enough to get behind the wheel of a car or ride a bike without understanding the consequences of being reckless on the road.

The NHTSA numbers say that motorcycle accidents went down in 2013 compared to 2012. But in our head, lesser or not, it’s still too many.

What do you think?
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