FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to a recent study by QuoteWizard.com, America’s roads have never been more deadly for motorcycle riders.
According to its report, there were 5,579 motorcycle fatalities in 2020, the highest number ever recorded. And Arkansas’ rate of fatalities was the 3rd-highest in the United States.
Mississippi and Texas were ranked first and second with the highest number of deaths per 10,000 motorcycles, with Arkansas just behind. Alaska totaled the lowest number in that category, followed by New Hampshire and Minnesota.
The report notes that alcohol was involved in 32% of motorcycle fatalities in 2020. In some cases, the person killed was below the legal limit, but 26% of deaths involved someone who was legally intoxicated, and in 15% of cases, the person killed had a blood alcohol content (BAC) level nearly twice the legal limit.
Arkansas fared better in these metrics, with 21% of motorcycle deaths involving a BAC over 0.08. For comparison, that percentage was 53% in Wyoming and 50% in Alaska. Just 8% of the incidents in Arkansas involved a severely-impaired driver with a BAC over 0.15.
The study also found that helmet use is steadily declining in areas with a high number of motorcycle fatalities. Helmet use fell from 69% in 2020 to 67% in 2021. Passenger helmet use dropped by 20%.
Motorcycle fatalities were calculated using NHTSA traffic safety statistics from 2010 to 2020. The fatality rate was calculated using 2020 fatality numbers per 10,000 registered motorcycles. The number of alcohol-related motorcycle fatalities was calculated using 2020 NHTSA data.
The complete results of the report are available here.