Motorcycle fatalities have increased by 36% in West Virginia since 2019

West Virginia (WOAY)- According to recent data, riding a motorcycle is more deadly than ever. Motorcycle fatalities in the state have risen by 36% since 2019. Research shows motorcycle fatalities are heavily influenced by alcohol, climate, and helmet usage.

Research analysts who studied West Virginia’s statistics found:
  • 38 motorcycle riders were killed in 2020
  • A fatality rate of 7 deaths per 10k registered motorcycle owners
  • Helmet use declined from 71% to 68% nationwide

Climate plays a critical role in the occurrence of motorcycle fatalities. Southern states that typically experience warmer weather perfect for riding have the highest rates of motorcycle fatalities.

Alcohol has been involved in over 30% of motorcycle fatalities since 2020. Additionally, 26% of fatalities involved riders that were legally intoxicated. Additionally, in 15% of cases, the rider had a blood alcohol (BAC) level twice the legal limit.

Helmet use is steadily declining in areas with the highest fatalities, decreasing by four percentage points nationwide. Additionally, riders are less likely to wear helmets when passengers are with them.

Wearing a helmet approved by the Department Of Transportation reduces the risk of head injury by 69% and the risk of death by 42%. However, despite the statistics, several areas don’t require helmets.

West Virginians can stay safe while operating motorcycles and help reduce fatalities by riding sober and wearing helmets. For more information on motorcycle fatalities in the US, visit



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