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Alcohol involvement in motorcycle accidents

When cars and motorcycles collide in California or any other state, the bigger vehicle usually has a better outcome. In fact, almost any time a motorcyclist is involved in any type of accident, the results are grim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Association states that 80 percent of all motorcyclists that are involved in crashes are killed or injured. When alcohol is involved, the risk of fatal injuries is even greater.


A driver who is intoxicated has a much slower reaction time and a decreased ability to safely operate a motorcycle. Fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol around 43 percent of the time, accounting for almost half of all motorcycle deaths.


The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle accounted for 2,617 deaths in 2015. During these crashes, 18 percent of motorcycle drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 to 0.14 percent. Drivers with this BAC range were much more likely to be killed in crashes that did not involve other vehicles, accounting for 42 percent of fatalities.


High BAC levels of over 0.15 percent also contribute to several motorcyclist deaths each year. In 2015, 28 percent of drivers killed with this level of intoxication were involved in single-vehicle accidents, while 9 percent of deaths occurred in collisions between highly-intoxicated drivers and other vehicles.


While accidents involving motorcycles are very likely to result in death or injury, drivers who are intoxicated contribute greatly to fatalities. Reducing the number of drunk motorcycle drivers could mean fewer deaths of all motorcycle passengers.

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