Whether it’s a long road trip or a short drive across town, riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun. However, if you get careless, your innocent ride can end in tragedy.
Motorcycle accidents tend to be deadlier than car accidents, mainly because the motorcyclist rides out in the open rather than inside a metal cage, so to speak.
That said, don’t let this fact keep you away from the activity you enjoy the most. Instead, learn the dangers associated with riding a motorcycle and, more importantly, tips on how to avoid them and stay safe on the road.
Must-Know Motorcycle Accident Statistics (Editor’s Pick):
- Motorcycles represented 14% of the traffic-related deaths in 2019
- In 2019, around nine in ten motorcyclists who lost their lives in crashes were males
- Less than one in ten motorcyclists involved in crashes have insurance
- In 2019, most motorcyclists who died in accidents were aged 25–29
- A quarter of motorcycle deaths happen because of collisions with fixed objects
- Riders’ errors cause almost 66% of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes
- Wet weather accounts for nearly a third of motorcycle accidents
- Almost 75% of moto crashes involve a collision with another vehicle
Local Motorcycle Accidents
1. A motorcyclist has less than two seconds to complete all collision avoidance actions in an accident.
(Orlando Injury Lawyer)
Two seconds. That’s hardly enough time when you are sober, let alone inebriated. Furthermore, weather conditions such as rain and wind also lead to a motorcyclist wiping out because of slippery and often poorly maintained roads.
2. 5,014 motorcycle riders were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2019.
This number represented a slight decrease in motorcycle accidents per year, compared to the year before when there were 5,038 such fatalities. Then again, around 84,000 motorcyclists sustained injuries in 2019, representing a 2% rise from the previous year.
3. In 2019, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of yearly traffic-related deaths.
Per vehicle miles traveled in 2019, motorcycle deaths happened almost 29 times more commonly than passenger car occupant deaths in traffic accidents.
Believe it or not, motorcycle death statistics indicate that three in ten motorcycle riders involved in deadly accidents in 2019 were riding with no valid motorcycle licenses.
4. Crotch rocket motorcycle riders have a four times higher traffic death rate than drivers of other motorcycles.
(Michigan Auto Law)
Built for racing and modified for roadways, this supersport bike can reach speeds up to 180 mph and are extremely popular among drivers under 30.
However, too much power, and the inexperience of many supersport motorcycle riders, make them incredibly dangerous on the open road.
US Motorcycle Fatality Rate in 2019
5. Motorcycle deaths were the highest in Florida and the lowest in the District of Columbia in 2019.
More specifically, 591 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents in Florida that year. California wasn’t that far behind Florida, with 474 people dying in motorcycle accidents.
On the other hand, only three such fatalities occurred in the District of Columbia, according to stats on fatal motorcycle accidents.
6. In 2019, 91% of killed motorcyclists were males.
That translates to females representing only 9% of these fatalities. Moreover, six in ten female motorcyclists who lost their lives in 2019 were passengers, and their deaths accounted for 91% of the passenger deaths.
7. In 2019, 57% of killed motorcyclists weren’t wearing helmets in states without universal helmet laws.
In contrast, motorcycle helmet statistics reveal that only 9% of killed motorcyclists weren’t wearing a helmet in states with universal helmet laws.
Generally speaking, helmets are 41% effective in preventing deaths to motorcycle passengers and 37% to motorcycle riders. Putting it differently, for every 100 motorcycle riders without helmets killed in accidents, 37 could have been saved if all 100 wore helmets.
8. According to stats on motorcycle accidents, most motorcyclists killed in accidents were aged 25–29 in 2019.
In detail, that was the case for 674 people in this age group. The second age group with the highest number of motorcyclist fatalities was 60–69, with 640 such fatalities.
On the other side of the spectrum, people under 16 represented the age group with the fewest motorcyclist fatalities (28).
9. In 2019, 34% of motorcycle fatalities occurred at intersections.
The most likely places for motorcycle fatalities weren’t intersections. As a matter of fact, in 2019, two-thirds of these deaths occurred in places that weren’t intersections. In addition, most of them (57%) happened in daylight.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents and Deaths
10. 25% of motorcycle deaths occur because of collisions with fixed objects.
(Georgia Injury Lawyer)
Running into objects causes nearly a quarter of motorcyclist fatalities, compared to 18% of car crash deaths.
However, the fact that such accidents are more dangerous for bikers is not surprising. Since a steel frame doesn’t protect them, they are more likely to get thrown far and hard and sustain deadly injuries.
11. More than 3 out of 10 motorcycle accidents involve one vehicle.
Compared to other drivers, motorcyclists have a considerably higher number of single-vehicle accidents. While approximately 34% of motorbike crashes involve no other vehicle, only around 19% of car crashes are single-vehicle accidents.
12. The rider’s error causes nearly two-thirds of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes.
The majority of these accidents occur because of driving errors such as slide-out and fall because of over-braking or negotiating a curve at high speed, according to causes of motorcycle accidents statistics.
13. Less than 3% of moto accidents occur because of vehicle failure, such as a flat tire.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) advises bikers to run a quick pre-ride inspection before each ride.
To make it easier to remember what to inspect, the MSF came up with the acronym T-CLOCS. It stands for:
- tires and wheels (T)
- controls (C)
- lights and electrics (L)
- oil & other fluids (O)
- chassis (C)
- stands (S)
14. Nearly 75% of all moto accidents involve a collision with another vehicle.
(Sacramento Law Group)
Most of these multiple vehicle accidents involve passenger vehicles, such as cars.
Moreover, motorcycle vs. car accident statistics from 2020 note that a lot of these crashes resulting from the car driver’s error occur due to the driver not seeing the motorcyclist. This happens primarily because of an obstructed view.
15. In 2019, 42% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle accidents were alcohol-impaired.
Motorcycles are great fun to ride, but your joy ride can quickly turn ugly if you mix drinking and driving. In 2019, motorcycle riders involved in deadly accidents had higher percentages of alcohol (29%) than drivers of other motor vehicles.
Moreover, motorcyclists who lost their lives in crashes at night in 2019 were nearly three times more frequently alcohol-impaired than the ones killed during the day.
16. Almost 33% of motorcycle accidents are caused by wet weather.
(Harold Gerr Law)
Negligence, not bad weather, causes the bulk of bike accidents. Nevertheless, motorcyclists should avoid riding in inclement weather or, if they must, take adequate precautions before hitting the road, such as running a thorough pre-ride inspection.
17. Speeding was a factor in 33% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2019.
In short, speed thrills but kills. Additionally, motorcyclists aged 21–24 involved in fatal accidents had the highest speeding involvement — almost 50%. Take the cue and respect speed limits, always.
Motorcycle Safety Statistics
18. In 2019, 48% of the motorcycle fatalities happened at the weekend.
According to the NHTSA, most of these weekend motorcycle accidents (601) happened between 6 PM and 9 PM. In fact, 25% of all dangerous accidents occurred in this window of time.
Avoiding the road at this time may not be an option, so just focus on staying visible and vigilant.
19. 92% of motorcyclists involved in crashes learned to ride on their own or with the help of a friend or family member.
Statistics on motorcycle accidents underline the importance of taking a motorcycle safety course, which can help lower the risk of a crash in novice riders.
Motorcycle coaching may also bring your motorcycle insurance premium down, which is an added, but not an insignificant, benefit.
20. 45% of motorcycle crashes result in more than a minor injury.
(The Barnes Firm, LearnYourRights)
The chances of getting injuries in a bike accident are incredibly high. Moreover, motorcycle injury statistics point out that the motorcycle rider sustains some sort of injury in about 98% of multiple vehicle crashes and somewhere around 96% of single-vehicle crashes.
21. Motorcycle helmets lower the risk of head injury by around 69% and the risk of death by almost 50%.
(WMIR, AGV Sport)
Like we said, helmets save lives, which has been proven in recent motorcycle accidents. Wear one before you hit the road. But mind you, not all helmets are equally good. You should always go for DOT-certified helmets.
These helmets meet or exceed the safety standards set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Also, they offer additional protection, helping you avoid serious injury in the event of a crash.
22. Motorcycle helmets prevent $17 billion in societal harm per year, as per motorcycle accident statistics.
On top of that, another $8 billion in harm could be saved if every motorcycle rider wore a helmet. Furthermore, 19 states and the District of Columbia have laws on helmet use, and these laws are the most effective countermeasure for increasing the use of helmets.
23. Unhelmeted Wisconsin riders are twice as likely to suffer cervical spine injuries than bikers who wear helmets.
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison collected data on the worst motorcycle accidents and found that the spinal injury incidence rate was twice as likely in bikers who didn’t wear a helmet.
Considering that riding a motorcycle without a helmet has serious consequences, one wonders why so many US states haven’t made helmets compulsory for all riders.
Is it because people don’t want such a rule? Or is it because authorities don’t understand the benefits of a universal helmet law?
24. Less than 10% of motorcyclists involved in accidents have insurance, as per motorcycle accident statistics from 2020.
All states in the US, except Florida, require motorcycle owners to have some sort of motorcycle insurance. However, the state-mandated coverage hardly proves sufficient in case of an accident.
That’s why adding PIP (if available in your state), and collision or comprehensive coverage to your policy is always a good idea. The former covers medical bills and lost wages, while the latter pays to repair and replace your motorcycle.
The rate of severe motorcycle accidents today is significantly higher than car accidents, despite cars dominating the road. Since motorcycles are unenclosed vehicles, riders are less protected from various hazards and more likely to sustain a severe injury in the event of a mishap.
So how can bikers stay safe?
Wearing proper safety gear and staying vigilant can make a world of difference. Naturally, adequate motorcycle insurance coverage comes in really handy when something bad happens.
People Also Ask
What are most motorcycle accidents caused by?
Many factors contribute to motorcycle accidents. Some of the primary motorcycle accident causes are reckless driving, alcohol use, and speeding. That said, there’s a high chance of crashes occurring when driving aggressively, speeding, driving distracted, or drunk.
In detail, a quarter of motorcycle fatalities happen because of collisions with fixed objects. Moreover, in 2019, around 66% of single-vehicle motorcycle accidents occurred due to the rider’s error.
On top of that, 42% of motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2019 were alcohol-impaired.
What percentage of motorcycle riders get into accidents?
In the United States, there are about 89,000 motorcycle crashes annually. Considering the number of registered motorcyclists, a little over 1% of them are involved in motorcycle crashes every year.
Then again, not all motorcycle accidents (especially the minor ones) are reported, meaning the actual numbers are higher. Out of the ones reported, over 5,000 are fatal crashes, and the rest include severe injuries.
How common are fatal motorcycle accidents?
There’s no such thing as a minor motorbike crash. Since motorcyclists lack the surrounding protective structure of other vehicles, they are more likely to sustain severe injuries, or even fatal ones, after a crash.
Namely, motorcycle fatalities occurred nearly 29 times more frequently compared to passenger car occupant deaths in crashes in 2019. Furthermore, motorcyclists are also five times more likely to sustain an injury.
Which motorcycle has the most accidents?
All motors aren’t created equal. As some cars are more dangerous than others, the same goes for motorbikes. Namely, some of the motorcycles which are more commonly involved in crashes are cruisers.
Moreover, street bikes and MX/Enduro motorcycles also account for a high number of crashes. Let’s not forget about supersport bikes, whose riders are not only more likely to be in motorcycle accidents but also bad ones.
- AGV Sport
- Foster Wallace
- Georgia Injury Lawyer
- Harold Gerr Law
- Magness Law
- Michigan Auto Law
- Orlando Injury Lawyer
- Sacramento Law Group
- The Barnes Firm
- US Army
Alarming Statistics on Motorcycle Accidents — 2022 Overview? ›
In 2022, there were a total of 10,597 motorcycle accidents in California. These accidents resulted in 8,632 injuries and 532 fatalities. Male motorcyclists account for a majority of accident victims. The age group of 25-34 has the highest number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents.What are the statistics on the danger of motorcycles? ›
82,528 Motorcyclists Were Injured in 2020
In 2020, a total of 82,528 motorcycle riders sustained injuries. A total of 468 injuries occurred per 100 million vehicle miles traveled over the course of that year.
In 2022, 6 motorcyclists were killed, and at least 88 were seriously injured over the 10 day Bike Week celebrations.What percentage of motorcycle riders have accidents? ›
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration records that about 72 out of every 100,000 motorcycle riders will experience a crash, which is . 07% of bikers.What is the most common cause of motorcycle accidents? ›
Speeding is the number one cause of motorcycle accidents in California. Motor vehicles and bikers may speed due to traffic congestion, running behind schedule, or for the thrill.
Be especially alert at intersections because approximately 70 percent of motorcycle-vehicle collisions occur there! Watch for vehicles that may unexpectedly turn in front of you or pull out from a side street or driveway.Are motorcycles statistically safer than cars? ›
The chances of a fatality in a motorcycle accident are approximately 30 times higher than in a car. Motorcycle accidents have a staggering 80% injury or death rate, while car accidents remain around 20%.What US state has the most motorcycle deaths? ›
Preliminary estimates indicate motorcycle deaths will pass 6,000 a year once 2021 totals are tabulated. Key findings: Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas have the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities.How many people died from motorcycles in 2022? ›
In 2022, there were a total of 10,597 motorcycle accidents in California. These accidents resulted in 8,632 injuries and 532 fatalities.How many motorcycle deaths per day in the US? ›
Data reported by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) paints a stark picture of motorcycle accident fatalities in the United States. On average, more than 5,000 motorcyclists die in traffic accidents every year in the United States. That's around 15 motorcyclists killed per day.
Where do most fatal motorcycle accidents occur? ›
How may we help you? Although motorcycle accidents that result in injuries are a common phenomenon, various studies have provided data showing where most motorcycle accidents do happen. Overall, most motorcycle accidents occur in urban areas, on non-interstate roads, and at locations other than intersections.Which age group has the most motorcycle accidents? ›
According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, while younger motorcyclists aged 25 to 29 are involved in the most accidents, older motorcyclists aged 50 and older account for the highest percentage of motorcycle fatalities.What age do most motorcycle accidents happen? ›
7. The Average Age for Motorcycle Fatalities Is Over 40. Another assumption many people make is that most accidents involve young, reckless, and inexperienced drivers. However, motorcycle accident statistics prove that half of the drivers involved in fatal bike accidents were over 40.What are the top 3 causes of motorcycle accidents? ›
Reckless Driving, Speeding, and Alcohol Use
These three causes of motorcycle accidents are forms of reckless driving. Liability, of course, will come down to who was driving recklessly (the motorcyclist or the motorist). Proving negligence can be straightforward once you have proven that reckless driving occurred.
Riding While Impaired
Driving a motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs causes 9.6% of motorcycle fatalities, according to SafeTREC. While all drivers on the road need to consume alcohol responsibly and avoid driving drunk, motorcyclists are more vulnerable in an accident.
The national fatality rate was just under 5 percent, meaning that the odds of surviving a motorcycle crash are just over 95 percent. There are over 8 million registered motorcycles in the United States. Only one in every 1,600 motorcyclists will die in a crash.Do 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death? ›
The effects of a crash involving a motorcycle can often be devastating. While 20 percent of passenger vehicle crashes result in injury or death, an astounding 80 percent of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death.Which is the most common type of fatal motorcycle crash? ›
Head-On Collision Motorcycle Accidents
Crashes involving a motorcycle and another vehicle account for 56% of deaths from motorcycle accidents. 78% of the time, these accidents happen when a car strikes a motorcycle head-on.
California Intersection Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, about 50% of all motor vehicle accidents involving injuries and fatalities occur at or near intersections.
Bigger motorcycles aren't necessarily safer than smaller motorcycles, but neither are they necessarily more risky. Power-to-weight ratio seems to be a stronger and more consistent correlation with accident risk. Motorcycles with a high power-to-weight ratio tend to correlate with higher accident and fatality rates.
What kills most motorcycle riders? ›
In the majority of these cases, the car strikes the motorcycle from the front. And, it's no surprise that when head-on collisions occur, they're often fatal for the motorcyclist.
|Rank||City||2011-2021 Per 100,000 Residents|
Compared to fatalities from cars, light and large trucks, more motorcycle fatalities were caused by speeding. About a third — 34% — involved speeding. That's 1,921 lives lost. Riders between 25 and 29 contributed the most — 45% were driving above the allowable speed limit when the accident occurred.What is the mortality rate for motorcycle riders? ›
The Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2020, motorcyclists had a fatality crash rate of 31.64 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled. By comparison, the fatality crash rate of passenger cars was 1.15 per 100 million vehicle miles and for light trucks, it was 0.67 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.What is the average age of motorcycle deaths? ›
Over the 10-year period from 2006 to 2015, fatalities among the 40-and-older age group increased by 17 percent (from 2,291 to 2,671). In 2006, the average age of motorcycle riders killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes was 39, whereas in 2015 the average age was 42.Are motorcycle deaths higher than cars? ›
Studies and statistics regarding motorcycle accidents have proven: Deaths in motorcycle accidents are approximately 30 times higher than fatalities in car accidents. Motorcycle riders over the age of 40 are approximately 20 times more likely to be injured in an accident than car drivers of the same age.Which bike has most accidents? ›
Cruisers: As much as 50% of the motorcycles on the road today are classified as motorcycle cruisers. This also means that they account for a large percentage of the accidents. Additionally, cruisers may encourage riders to wear less protective gear in order to maintain their 'cool image.Are motorcycle deaths more common than car? ›
Motorcyclists are 6x more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers. There were over 8.3 million registered motorcycles in the country. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are 27 x more likely to be killed in a traffic crash than passenger car occupants. They account for 14% of all traffic fatalities.What is the likeliness of dying in a motorcycle accident? ›
NHTSA reports that motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than people in passenger vehicles to die in a traffic crash.Can a 70 year old man ride a motorcycle? ›
But our community knows that in truth, riders come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. We know plenty of motorcyclists who are tearing up the road at 40, 50, 60 or even older. In fact, the median age of a biker in the US is 50 and a whopping 39% of motorcycle owners are between the ages of 51 and 69.
What is the average age of a motorcycle owner? ›
The average age of motorcycle owners in the United States is 50 years old. This statistic is an important indicator of the demographic of motorcycle owners in the United States.Do more motorcycle accidents happen at night? ›
When is it Least Safe to Ride? According to crash statistics collected by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents occur on weekend nights between the hours of 3 PM and Midnight.What are the 4 types of motorcycle crashes? ›
Lowside, highside, topside, and collision are the four main categories of motorcycle crash types.What should motorcyclists never assume? ›
You can never assume other drivers, riders and even pedestrians have seen you. Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a crash.What is the no zone motorcycle? ›
A truck has larger blind spots than an ordinary vehicle. These blind spots are referred to as the “No-Zone.” In the “No-Zone,” motorcycles and cars disappear from the view of the truck driver. The “No-Zone” is where a biker is most likely to become involved in a crash with a truck.What kills people in motorcycle accidents? ›
The major causes of death in motorcycle accidents are head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Motorcycle crashes often result in serious head injuries, even if a rider is wearing a helmet (as is required in the state of North Carolina).What is 1 reason for motorcycle crashes? ›
Long Island Personal Injury Attorneys / FAQs / What Is The Primary Cause Of Motorcycle Crashes? Failure to yield and speeding are the top primary causes of motorcycle crashes.What causes 41% of all fatal two vehicles crashes involving a motorcycle? ›
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 41% of fatal, two-vehicle motorcycle crashes, the other vehicles were turning left while the motorcycles were overtaking other vehicles, passing, or going straight.Are motorcycle crashes painful? ›
Because motorcyclists have very little protection on the road, a motorcycle accident can leave them with serious injuries. From concussions to broken bones, an injured motorcyclist can be in a lot of pain after their accident. They may need surgery, hospitalization and months of follow-up treatment.Are motorcycles high risk? ›
Motorcycle rider deaths were nearly 30 times more than drivers of other vehicles. Motorcycle riders aged below 40 are 36 times more likely to be killed than other vehicle operators of the same age.
How much deadlier are motorcycles than cars? ›
Motorcyclists are 6x more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers. There were over 8.3 million registered motorcycles in the country. Per vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists are 27 x more likely to be killed in a traffic crash than passenger car occupants. They account for 14% of all traffic fatalities.What is the average life expectancy of a motorcycle rider? ›
The Average Age for Motorcycle Fatalities Is Over 40
The most common age to die in a motorcycle accident is 42.
- Rider Age.
- Lack of Licensing & Experience.
- Reckless Riding.
- Lack of Antilock Brakes.
So What Is The Safest Place To Ride A Motorcycle? With all the perceived dangers of the highway—notably its higher average speeds—highways are still much safer than city streets for motorcycles. In fact, according to the Hurt Report of 1981, less than 1 in a thousand accidents happened over 86 miles per hour.What state has the most motorcycle deaths? ›
Preliminary estimates indicate motorcycle deaths will pass 6,000 a year once 2021 totals are tabulated. Key findings: Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas have the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities.Do motorcycles cause lots of accidents? ›
Fast Facts of Motorcycle Accidents
Motorcycle accidents are 28 times more likely to result in fatalities based on vehicle miles traveled. Riders are also four times more likely to get injured. Although motorcycles only make up 3% of the registered vehicles in the U.S., they contribute 14% of all traffic fatalities.
When is it Least Safe to Ride? According to crash statistics collected by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents occur on weekend nights between the hours of 3 PM and Midnight.How high is too high for motorcycle mileage? ›
What Is Considered High Mileage For A Motorbike? 20,000 to 30,000 miles is a bit excessive for compact sports bikes. Motorcycle mileage of 50,000 miles and higher is considered excessive for larger bikes. That being said, a properly maintained bike can endure well over 100,000 miles.What is the chance of survival on a motorcycle? ›
The national fatality rate was just under 5 percent, meaning that the odds of surviving a motorcycle crash are just over 95 percent. There are over 8 million registered motorcycles in the United States. Only one in every 1,600 motorcyclists will die in a crash.Is 70 too old to ride a motorcycle? ›
That's not to say that no matter your age you can hop on a bike and ride into the sunset, no problem. Riding a motorcycle in a way that is safe and enjoyable takes effort at any age. It may be easy to forget that those skills and practices can change for aging motorcyclists.