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Facts about motorcycle accidents and safety in Wisconsin

To know what to do after a motorcycle accident occurs, residents of Wisconsin may first want to understand some of the broad facts about accidents and safety in the state. These can help paint a picture of the dangers of riding a motorcycle -- not to deter people from doing it, but so that they can have realistic expectations.

For one thing, when looking at registered motorcycles and the overall population, records show that 5.9 people out of every 100 people have bikes. Ten years before that, there were 420,221 people who had a motorcycle license, but the numbers have been climbing ever since. The 2012 reports show that there were 515,433 people with such a license at that time.

Back in 2011, 80 people died in motorcycle accidents. This included those who were driving and those who were passengers. The numbers climbed in 2012, when 112 people were killed in such crashes.

The number of people who have been injured in these crashes has also been going up. By 2012, it was up 17 percent from the numbers that were seen back in 2002. Just between 2011 and 2012, it went up by about 14.2 percent. In 2011, there were 2,100 injuries, but there were 2,398 in 2012.

As far as age is concerned, almost half -- 45.9 percent -- of the people who have registered motorcycles are no younger than 35 and no older than 54. However, in 2012, only 41.7 percent of the accidents were caused by people in this same age range.

Finally, the majority of cases involved either alcohol or excessive speed.

Source: Wisconsin Department of Transportation, "2012 Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Facts Book" Aug. 10, 2014

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