The number of people killed in motorcycle accidents in North Carolina has tripled in the last decade.
The state Division of Motor Vehicles released figures Monday
that show a 200 percent increase in deaths since 1997. Nationally,
the number of deaths increased 140 percent.
A record 183 people died in motorcycle accidents statewide last
year, compared to 61 in 1997. Officials blame the increase in part
on milder weather that extends the riding season.
Motorcycles represent less than 2 percent of registered vehicles
in North Carolina but account for almost 12 percent of traffic
fatalities. Statewide, the number of motorcycle registrations
increased 17 percent.
A state law that took effect this year requires motorcycle
riders to wear helmets that meet federal safety standards.