AZ among 10 worst in US for motorcyclist deaths

Published: Jun. 6, 2016 at 8:36 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona is among the 10 states with the highest percentage of roadway fatalities involving motorcyclists, prompting concern for both riders and others drivers on the road.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, 134 people died in crashes last year.

In Pima County, there were 11 deadly crashes and more than 200 people hurt while riding.

And according to an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association, 17 percent of all traffic deaths last year were motorcyclists.

Among the top 10, Arizona ranked No. 9. See the full breakdown below:

Officials at RideNow PowerSports, a local motorcycle training facility, said they have an idea of why Tucson roads are so dangerous.

"We are seeing various things like an increase in registration of vehicles, miles traveled. We are seeing things that may increase the number of opportunities for crashes," said Bill Seltzer, marketing director of Team Arizona.

In 27 years, RideNow PowerSports has trained more than 100,000 students.

Valarie Vinyard, a AAA Arizona spokeswoman, cited multiple factors for the high number of crashes.

"Low gas prices, increased registrations, a record number of vehicle miles traveled, and a record number of new car sales contributed to an increase in Arizona's 2015 traffic crashes and fatalities," she said. "AAA recognizes that the leading cause of motorcycle crashes is typically not the rider, but other motorists who fail to notice the rider."

Hawaii was ranked No. 1, Connecticut took No. 2 and Indiana was ranked No. 10.

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