In a recent article on the most dangerous states for motorcycles, Kentucky found itself at number eight on the list. While many states absent from the list did have higher numbers of fatalities, Kentucky’s placement appears accurate when measuring fatalities against other factors.
Statistical analysis is a numbers game
With the right data and the right tools, you can attain fascinating insight into many areas, including motorcycle crash statistics. The ranking in the Hamlethub article relies on two sources of data:
- The number of motorcycle deaths per state
- The number of motorcycle registrations per state.
By dividing the number of fatal accidents by the number of registrations, the analysis creates a deaths-per-registration ratio. However, while numbers like those above offer insight, if there are mistakes in the data or the reasoning behind data manipulation, that insight is also flawed.
Possible flaws in the data collection
Returning once again to the raw data, we can see that many of the states with higher numbers of fatalities but were not on the list also had helmet laws requiring riders to wear helmets. Kentucky does not require riders over 21 to wear helmets. The obvious conclusion is that helmet laws are one reason that Kentucky may be dangerous. However, drawing that link is misleading as the number one most dangerous state for motorcycles, Mississippi, also has motorcycle helmet laws.
Additionally, the data does not include breakdowns for accidents that happen in Kentucky involving people from out of state. Using registrations as a basis for your ranking covers up the possibility of interstate travel, of which there is quite a bit during the summer months.
Despite criticism, motorcycles come with dangers
All points aside, the article does raise an important issue. Motorcycle riders are in danger on the road, and those accidents can be singularly devastating. Often motorcycle riders take months or years to recover from accidents fully, and they deserve skilled personal injury representation to ensure they can afford their care.