According to the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety:
"A total of 4,295 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2014. Motorcyclist deaths had been declining since the early 1980s but began to increase in 1998 and continued to increase through 2008. Motorcyclist deaths decreased by 16 percent in 2009 compared with 2008 and increased slightly in 2010, 2011, and 2012 before declining in 2013 and 2014. Motorcycle deaths accounted for 13 percent of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2014 and were more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths in 1997."
The IIFHS cites the main reasons for the recent decrease as helmet use and anti-lock brakes. This is interesting, and good news, particularly with the number of motorcycles on the road continuing to increase. Even so, riding is nonetheless inherently dangerous. "Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they're more likely to be injured or killed. The federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2013, the number of deaths on motorcycles was over 26 times the number in cars."
For more information and facts, and interesting statistics regarding motorcycle safety and riders, visit http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/motorcycles/fatalityfacts/motorcycles/2014.
As always, ride safe!