Motorcycle Deaths Increased 7.1% from 2011 to 2012
Motorcyclist injuries (non deaths) went from 81,000 to 93,000 in the same period, an increase of 15%. It's worth noting that the injury statistics are estimates because most crashes not involving deaths go unreported.
However, the report mentioned that motorcyclist deaths in states without a universal helmet law were 1,858 as opposed to 178 deaths in states that require helmets for all riders.
On the good side, the number of alcohol-related motorcyclist deaths went down from 1,397 to 1,390.
Deaths in passenger vehicles (cars and light trucks) also increased from 21,316 to 21,667, an increase of 1.6%. Injuries increased from 1,968,000 to 2,091,000 a difference of 6.3%.
Overall, passenger vehicles accounted for 65% of fatalities, while motorcyclists accounted for 15%.
Meanwhile, the Federal Highway Administration reported recently that the number of "Vehicle Miles Traveled" increased from 2,946 billion to 2,954 billion, an increase of 0.3%, during the same period.
Opinion: So while there were 8 billion more miles being traveled along America's roadways, it only makes sense that the number of deaths and injuries would increase. But when you consider that only 65% of the deaths involve passenger vehicles, state governments should leave motorcyclists alone and focus their legislative safety attempts on cars and SUVs.
Source: 2012 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview