Experts say Nebraska is top ten in motorcycle fatalities across America

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN)-Nebraska has the 9th highest death toll for motorcycle accidents in America, some are calling for action to save lives.

Senior Research Analyst Nick VinZant of says within the last two years Nebraska has seen a “36% increase in motorcycle fatalities.”

That data doesn’t even include the last eight months of this year, which only added to the death toll along our roads.  VinZant says as crashes rise, so does the risk.

“34 people lost their lives while riding on a motorcycle,” he said. “That is a huge increase from previous years, where Nebraska was seeing 23 or 20 motorcycle fatalities.”

Across the nation, VinZant says incidents are at their highest, ever. “5,779 people died on motorcycles,” said VinZant. “That is an 11% increase from the previous year, and it’s already looking like 2021 we’re going to see another 11% increase in motorcycle fatalities.”

He attributes rapidly rising deaths to young and speeding drivers. “And that is ultimately attributed to younger drivers going too fast on uncongested roadways,” he said. “That pattern, even though traffic has picked back up, that driving pattern that started in the pandemic has not changed.”

VinZant says wearing helmets is the best way to save lives given the current circumstances.

“When we look at Nebraska and other states in the Midwest, we found that helmet use among motorcycle riders and drivers dropped from 54% down to 45,” he said. “That’s the biggest drop in helmet use that we have seen nationwide, and helmets do save lives, with a 40% reduction in fatal injuries and a 70% reduction in serious injuries, helmets do save lives.”

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