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Motorcycle accident statistics from the NHTSA

As part of its ongoing responsibility to keep the roads of both New Mexico and the rest of the country safe, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has for over a decade been involved in the Share the Road campaign, a public awareness campaign that various states use to draw attention to the dangers motorcyclists face at the hands of other divers.

As part of its involvement, NHSTA has researched several statistics and developed tips that individual states, when applying for grant money to conduct a public awareness campaign, can transmit by a number of means, including their driver's manuals and other paperwork. Some of NHTSA's observations bear repeating, as they may help prevent motorcycle accidents in the Albuquerque area.

Not surprisingly, the majority of fatal two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles happened between May and October, which is commonly thought of as the best time to ride motorcycles. These sorts of accidents far and away involved collisions with passenger vehicles, at over 85 percent. This means that those most likely to strike a motorcycle are those driving one of the hundreds of run-of-the mill sedans, vans and the like. When the driver of a passenger car was at fault for the accident, failure to yield was the major contributing factor 35 percent of the time.

For those who like to get off the beaten track, it is important for them to remember that over nine out of 10 fatal motorcycle accidents happened off of the freeway. In some of these crashes, the passenger car failed to yield the right of way to the motorcyclist.

The Share the Road campaign is an important way to bring motorcycle awareness to the public's attention. However, motorcycle accidents will continue to occur in New Mexico and throughout the nation. Some motorcycle accident victims are lucky to survive the crash, but many do not. Moreover, survivors of motorcycle crashes may suffer critical injuries. Therefore, it is important that all motorists drive with due care, to avoid causing a motorcycle accident.

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