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Fatal Pennsylvania motorcycle crash exemplifies dangerous trend

Any time a larger passenger vehicle collides with a motorcycle, the results can be devastating. Motorcycles neither have the mass nor the same type of safety features as standard automobiles, leaving their passengers more exposed to the powerful mechanical forces that result from a motor vehicle crash.

This reality recently played out in a tragic motorcycle accident that left five Pennsylvania motorists dead.

Five killed after SUV veered out of lane

During the afternoon of October 19, two motorcycles were traveling southbound through Washington Township, a small community in Franklin County. Each motorcycle carried a man and a woman; all four motorcyclists were Pennsylvania residents.

According the county coroner, an SUV traveling in the opposite direction crossed the center line and struck one of the motorcycles head-on. The impact spun the SUV around directly into the path of the second motorcycle, which hit the far-larger vehicle broadside.

All four motorcyclists were killed. A woman who was a passenger in the SUV also lost her life. It is not yet clear why the SUV crossed the center line.

While deaths down for most types of vehicles, motorcycle fatalities reach historic highs

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic deaths involving cars and light trucks have been in steep decline for years; in 2008, the number of recorded crash-related fatalities reached an all-time low. However, at the same time, motorcyclist deaths reached an all-time high: 5,312 throughout the United States in 2008. Between 1999 and 2008, the number of motorcyclist deaths more than doubled.

Motorcycle deaths tapered off somewhat after 2008 with the weakening of the U.S. economy, but still remain at very high levels historically.

Nonfatal motorcycle accidents have also increased dramatically in recent years. The number of nonfatal injuries treated in emergency departments throughout the country increased by nearly 50 percent between 2001 and 2008. A longitudinal study from the CDC indicates that leg/foot injuries are the most common type of injury suffered in nonfatal motorcycle crashes, closely followed by head and neck injuries, each accounting for 30 and 22 percent of nonfatal motorcyclist injuries, respectively.

Injured yourself, or lost a loved one to a motorcycle crash? Call an attorney

More people than ever before are riding motorcycles, and given the increasing number of motorcyclists, there are bound to be some accidents. Many of these accidents, however, are avoidable. If other motorists focused their attention on the road and kept a careful watch for motorcyclists, thousands of deaths and injuries could be prevented every year.

If you have been injured by a negligent driver, or if you have lost a family member, you may be entitled to compensation. Money can never replace a loved one or fully heal the wounds you have suffered, but it can help get you through a tough time and pay for things like medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If a driver's mistake caused a death or injury in your life, get in touch with a Pennsylvania motorcycle accident attorney today and get the compensation you deserve.