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Motorcycle deaths fell nationally but rose in Texas in 2013

Comprehensive data about just how many motorcycles might be on the roads of the U.S. is hard to come by. States don't use a single method for calculating such things. But based on information compiled by Motorcycle Roads it's seems clear that numbers are increasing.

Despite statistics showing that the volume of registered motorcycles in all states is on the rise, it's notable that motorcycle accidents resulting in deaths appear to be on the decline. According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal motorcycle accidents declined 6.4 percent in 2013 -- the most recent year for which full data exists. Analysts note that it's the first year-to-year drop for the country since 2009.

Unfortunately, Texas does not appear to be experiencing the same downward trend. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that in the first nine months of 2013, our state recorded 361 motorcyclist deaths. That compared with 339 for the same period in 2012. That represents a 6 percent increase.

One might be inclined to argue that the rise can be attributed to the greater number of motorcyclists in Texas. But according to the Motorcycle Roads, California and Florida each have more motorcycles under registration, and yet the GHSA says both states saw declines in motorcycle fatalities in 2013.

What this would seem to reinforce is that there is a greater need to step up overall motorcycle safety efforts in Texas. Yes, motorcycles are smaller and perhaps harder to see. But riders have as much right to the road as any other motorist. If they fall victim to another driver's negligence or inattention, they also have the right to seek recovery for their suffering.

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