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Traffic fatalities: The numbers behind the accidents

Motorcycles are almost synonymous with the warmer months, and as we head into the official turn of summer, Maryland drivers can expect more and more riders on the roads. While many people don't think about the possibility of an accident — let alone a fatal one — every time they buckle their seat belts, the reality is that motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for people aged 4 to 34.

An analysis of motor vehicle accidents in Maryland that happened between 2003 and 2007 showed that on average there are well over 100,000 crashes every year, with motorcycle accidents in the state being included in these numbers. On average, 36,681 of these crashes resulted in injuries to one or more of the people involved, and approximately 580 people every year were killed.

While the total number of crashes and number of crashes that resulted in injuries showed a declining trend in the five-year period analyzed, this was not true for fatalities. Although 2007 had the lowest amount of fatal crashes, both 2003 and 2006 showed 651 people killed.

There are often many different factors that combine to create the perfect storm of a motorcycle-vehicle crash. Low visibility due to rainy conditions and a speeding driver can result in a rear-end crash that can easily lead to severe and possibly life-threatening injuries for the rider. According to Maryland's Department of Transportation, 90 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by operator error and could have been prevented. If you believe this pertains to your situation, talking with a personal injury attorney can help you better understand if litigation is an option.

Source: Department of Transportation - Motor Vehicle Administration, "Maryland Crash Statistics," accessed June 12, 2015

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