West Virginia motorcycle riders might be more at risk of a traffic fatality than in previous years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, the number of people who died in crashes involving a motorcycle rose more than 8 percent from the previous year. However, the total number of motorcyclists injured was down in 2015 by 4.3 percent.
More than one-quarter of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents had alcohol levels above the legal limit, and 33 percent were speeding. More than one-quarter also lacked a valid license.
Older motorcyclists are more likely to be killed and are more vulnerable to serious injuries than younger ones. Operators of motorcycles of all ages are more likely to be killed or injured than people in cars. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die and five times more likely to be injured in 2015. There are a number of rules and safety innovations in place that attempt to keep motorcyclists safer. In West Virginia, all motorcyclists are required to wear helmets. Airbags are increasingly an option although their effectiveness is unknown. Antilock braking systems are also an option, and these have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of an accident.
A person might suffer a brain injury or another serious type of injury in a motorcycle accident. If the accident is caused by another driver or if the injured person was a passenger on the motorcycle, the insurance company may offer some compensation, but it might not be enough. The injured person might want to speak to an attorney about negotiating with the insurance company. It might also be possible to file a civil lawsuit against the at-fault driver in order to get more compensation.