In 2013, the last year for which federal data is available, there were 499 fatal motorcycle accidents in Texas, representing about 10 percent of the total number of motorcycle fatalities in the United States. But what does this really mean? Is Texas more dangerous for motorcyclists than other states?
The answer is a definite “no.” Although Texas had the third highest number of motorcycle fatalities in 2013, it also had the second highest population in the U.S. In short, if we consider the number of fatal motorcycle accidents per capita, Texas is slightly less dangerous than other states, ranking second in population, but third in the number of fatalities
There is another way to look at the motorcycle accident numbers. In 2013, there were 435,551 motorcycles registered in Texas. Although that seems like a large number, there are also more than 25 million people in Texas – 25,253,466 in 2013, to be exact. This means that there was a ratio of one motorcycle for every 58 residents, putting Texas close to the bottom of a list calculating the number of motorcycles per resident. In other words, even though Texas has a lot of motorcycles, it has far fewer in terms of population than South Dakota, where there is one motorcycle for every 12 residents.
The number of fatal motorcycle accidents divided by the number of motorcycles registered produces a Texas motorcycle accident fatality rate of around 1 percent when measured against the number of motorcycles. South Dakota, in contrast, has a motorcycle fatality rate of more than 3 percent when measured against the number of motorcycles. Clearly, the chances of being involved in a fatal motorcycle accident are more than twice as great in South Dakota than in Texas.
What else can we learn about motorcycle accidents in Texas by crunching the numbers? It turns out that Texas statistics are more current than the federal numbers. According to 2014 statistics published by the Texas Department of Transportation, there were 459 fatal motorcycle crashes in Texas that year, 40 fewer than in the previous year and a decline of 8 percent. Given that the population of Texas grew from 2013 to 2014, the number of deaths per capita and the number of deaths per registered vehicle also declined (if one assumes that the number of registered motorcycles either rose or stayed constant).
This is all good news for Texas motorcycle riders and their families. However, it does not take away from the fact that each death in a motorcycle accident affects many other people, people who need to pick up the pieces of their lives and keep going. If you lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle accident, you may be able to seek compensation through the justice system. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can advise you.