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TxDOT: Motorcycle fatalities increase by 6 percent in 2016

Numbers released by the Texas Department of Transportation show the number of motorcycle fatalities increased by 6% from 2015 to 2016.

The state agency documented 496 fatal motorcycle crashes in Texas in 2016. Statistics show 2,008 crashes left drivers or passengers with incapacitating injuries. Out of all the crashes that either killed or injured drivers, 5,118 motorcyclists were not wearing helmets.

In the City of El Paso, there were 552 motorcycle crashes last year, which represents 3% of the statewide total. These crashes resulted in 13 motorcyclist deaths and 28 motorcyclists being seriously injured.

In El Paso County, there were 613 crashes. Those resulted in 14 deaths and 34 motorcyclists being seriously injured.

Over the weekend, a man died after the motorcycle he was riding in collided with a truck in East El Paso. Three days later, police said another motorcycle crash sent one person to the hospital with serious injuries. On August 11, two people were also sent tot he hospital with life threatening injuries after a motorcyclist somehow lost control of the bike on the I-10 near Copia. A few weeks before that crash, police confirmed a man had died after being involved in a motorcycle crash in July.

Ryan Seavey, General Manager of Freeway Powersports in El Paso, said he’s not surprised by the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities in the area.

“I’ve seen it over the past 30 years,” Seavey said. “The statistics go up and then down.”

Seavy said part of the problem is a lot of people buy motorcycles that they can’t handle.

“They’re getting pushed into a higher performance motorcycle,” Ryan Seavey, General Manager of Freeway Powersports, said. “So a 250cc or a 300cc, a 500cc motorcycle is what you want to start out on. But other people are going out and pushing the larger high performance machines.”

18 Texas deaths last year were of motorcyclists who were 23 years old. 18 deaths were also of people who were 58 years old.

“Sometimes you get to a point where you’re over confident,” Seavey said. “You get to a certain point and it catches you.”

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