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Top 40 Motorcycle Accident Statistics

by | Last updated Aug 18, 2022

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Do you enjoy riding your motorcycle? Do you love the thrill, freedom and adrenaline rush? Then that’s great. However, before you get on the road, make sure that:

  • You are well-geared
  • Your motorcycle is well-maintained
  • The road is clear

Motorcycle Accidents

We say this because the thrill of riding a motorcycle comes with life-threatening risk. It’s crucial to make sure that you ride safely without putting yourself at risk of injuries and even death. According to the motorcycle accident statistics, bikes are the most deadly transportation for in the US. Studies show that bike riders are 27 times at a higher risk of dying in an accident than car occupants.

Well, take a few minutes to read the top 40 staggering motorcycle accident statistics. We have curated a list of statistics related to:

  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Fatalities per year
  • Top causes for motorcycle accidents
  • Safety gear statistics

How Will These Motorcycle Accident Statistics Help You?

By reading these details carefully, you will do a better job at protecting yourself and other people sharing the road with you.

Interesting Statistics About Motorcycle Crashes

Though motorcycle riding is super fun, the risk of crash can’t be overlooked. The high risk is associated with numerous factors such as:

  • The lack of steel exterior
  • Safety equipment like airbags and seat belts
  • Small in size, thus less visible to car drivers and semi-truck operators
  • Less stable than four-wheel vehicles

Top 40 Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Statistics show that:

1. Seventy-four percent of all motorcycle accidents are head-on collisions. Frontal accidents occur when a vehicle crosses the centerline of the road NHTSA

2. Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in accidents in comparison to cars NHTSA

3. In 2018, there were 82,000 motorcycle injuries, lower than the figure recorded in 2017 (89,000) III

4. Approximately half of the spinal damage and injuries annually are caused by motorcycle and automobile accidents. This injury is too costly as it may require immediate and multiple surgeries along with weeks or months in recovery. It can also lead to permanent changes in sensation, strength, and bodily functions, affecting the motorcycle accident victim physically and mentally, emotionally, and socially. MAYO

5. In 2018, motorcyclists accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, 17 percent of all occupant fatalities, and 3 percent of all occupant injuries. Injury Facts

Fatalities in Motorcycle Accidents

Head injuries are the most responsible for deaths in motorcycle accidents. This is even if the motorcycle rider has a helmet on. The high risk of death due to head injury is that the force inflicted on the head in a motorcycle accident is tremendous.

In many situations, motorcycle riders are ejected from their bikes and hit their heads on the pavement. Such head injuries cause the head to bleed around the brain, which needs immediate medical attention. If treatment is not sought right away, survival becomes next to impossible.

6. Nearly 4985 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2018. III

7. The leading cause for deaths in motorcyclists is a head injury or TBI (Traumatic brain damage). NIH

8. Nearly 43% of the fatal motorcycle collisions involve alcohol. It’s crucial to understand that riding a motorcycle requires more skill and coordination than operating a car. Therefore, the risk of fatality is higher when drunk because alcohol reduces the rider’s ability to safely operate their motorcycle. NHTSA

9. Florida ranked fourth among the deadliest state for motorcycle accidents with over 590 fatalities in a year and 10.6 fatalities per 10,000 registered motorcycles. KTSM


10. In 2015 the fatality rate for motorcyclist was 6 times greater than the fatality rate for passengers of a car. NHTSA

11. Nearly 26 percent of the fatally injured motorcyclists had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08%. IIHS

12. In 2018, 53 percent of motorcyclists’ deaths occurred on major roads instead of freeways and interstates. IIHS

13. Motorcycle accident deaths were more likely to occur in urban areas as compared to rural areas. (60 percent vs. 38 percent) IIHS

“Did you know that although motorcycle accidents occur throughout the year, there are specific months and times of the week when they occur the most? Well, here are some interesting statistics about motorcycle accident fatalities in terms of time and month of the year.”

Motorcycle Statistics show that:

14. 61 percent of motorcyclist lost their lives in 2018 between May and September. IIHS

15. The death rate among motorcyclists was the highest during the summer months, especially June, and lowest during winter months, especially December. IIHS

16. 13 percent of the motorcyclists died in 2018 in June, while there were below four percent deaths in December. IIHS

17. Nearly 48 percent of the fatally injured motorcyclists lost their lives in 2018 on the weekends. IIHS

18. Most of the motorcyclist deaths that occurred on the weekends were after 6 pm. IIHS

19. In 2018, 46 percent of motorcyclists killed at night from 9 pm to 6 am had BAC at or above 0.08 percent. IIHS

20. Thirty-seven percent of deaths among motorcyclists in 2018 occurred in single-vehicle crashes. IIHS

21. However, motorcyclist deaths were higher, nearly 63 percent in multiple-vehicle crashes. IIHS

Leading Causes of the Motorcycle Accidents

Now that you know how dangerous and fatal motorcycle accidents are, let us dig deeper to understand the leading causes of these accidents with statistics. This will help you develop a solid understanding of how certain things can put you at a high risk of having an accident and how you can avoid it and minimize the risk.

22. Motorcycle accidents occur more in summers because people are likely to enjoy recreational activities more during this season. Motorcycle riding is the most favorite one out of all recreational activities. Besides this, students are also on summer break, and thus there is more traffic and inexperienced drivers on the road, thereby increasing the risk of motorcycle accidents. Quote Wizard

23. In urban areas, the proportion of alcohol-impaired driving was highest among motorcyclists, nearly 26 percent, followed by 21 percent car drivers and 19 percent among pickup truck drivers. Crash Stats

24. Likewise, the proportion of alcohol-impaired driving was the highest in drivers of motorcycles with approximately 24 percent. However, they were followed by pickup truck drivers (23 percent) and passenger car drivers (22 percent).

25. In 2017, approximately 33 percent of the motorcyclists killed drove motorcycles with large size engines of more than 1400c. IIHS

26. 2/3 of the single-vehicle collisions are because of motorcycle rider errors such as under cornering, over braking, and excess braking. HG

If you are wondering if weather contributes to the risk of accident, then you’d be surprised to know that actually it doesn’t.

27. The weather only contributes to 2 percent of motorcycle accidents. Ninety-eight percent of the accidents occur due to speeding, negligence, and driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. HG

28. Fuel spills and leaks were present in approximately 62 percent of the motorcycle crashes in the post-collision phase. This further presented a high risk of fire and explosion. HG

29. Approximately 34 percent of the motorcycle collisions that occurred in 2017 were due to speeding. Speeding may give motorcyclists the thrill and adrenaline rush, but it also puts them at high risk of injuries and fatalities if they crash. IIHS

30. A shocking 42% of the fatal motorcycle accidents involve the other vehicle turning left/ taking a wrong turn. At the same time, the motorcyclist was either passing, overtaking the other vehicle, or traveling straight ahead. NHTSA

31. Other vehicle drivers’ failure to detect motorcyclists in traffic is also among the top causes for motorcycle accidents. Most drivers claim that they collided with motorcyclists because they did not see them or they saw them, but it was too late to avoid the accident. HG

32. Nearly 31 percent of the motorcyclists in fatal accidents did not have a valid driver’s license. IYNC

33. In a typical motorcycle accident, a motorcycle has only two seconds to avoid the crash. HG

Motorcycle Safety Gear Statistics

It is said safety first, and we couldn’t agree more.

Before you go on the road for a ride, make sure that you are appropriately geared with your helmet, jacket, gloves, and boots. Though nothing guarantees you safety on a motorcycle because other drivers’ negligence causes most accidents, your odds of survival in a collision can increase if you are geared adequately.

Let’s take a look at some statistics to understand it better:

34. Helmets are 37% effective in lowering the risk of fatality in motorcycle accidents. IIHS

35. Helmets are about 67 percent more effective in preventing the risk of head injuries. IIHS

36. If the helmet is a well-fitted and certified model, it can significantly lower your chances of serious head injuries. This is because if the helmet is too small, you will probably take it off after a while as it may start giving you headaches. Likewise, if it is too big, it won’t serve the purpose, and in case of an accident, it may come off, thereby exposing you to the risk of injuries. Roadracerz

37. You can reduce the risk of having open wound injuries by nearly 90 percent and the risk of foot injuries by approximately 45 percent if you wear armored riding boots. Marine Corps Safety

38. Only 40 percent of the motorcyclists experience head injuries after wearing a helmet. HG

39. By wearing protective clothing, motorcyclists can reduce the chances of open wound injuries. George Institute for Global Health

40. Approximately 73 percent of the accident that involves motorcyclists have no eye protection. Thus, the wind on the unprotected eyes increases the risk of impaired vision, thereby delaying hazard detection and avoiding accident risk. HG

NHTSA also reveals that for every hundred motorcycle riders that are killed in collisions, 37 of them could have survived if they wore helmets. Also, it’s surprising to see that nearly 3.5 billion in economic cost and overall $8.9 billion in comprehensive cost could be easily saved if all motorcyclists wore helmets in 2017. The economic cost includes medical expense, legal cost, emergency medical assistance, lost wages, insurance cost, property damage, workplace losses and congestion cost (travel delay). Similarly, comprehensive cost includes economic expense and the valuation for the loss of quality of life.

Helmets are important because they provide a hard outer shell to the riders for safety. This further helps distribute the impact of force in an accident, thereby protecting the skull from hitting pavements and getting pierced by sharp objects in the surroundings. The crushable inner lining designed in a helmet helps limit the force of impact by absorbing force and a portion of energy that would otherwise reach the head and damage the brain. This further lowers the risk and the cases of head injuries.

Contact us for legal Assistance For Any Motorcycle Related Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident despite being properly geared and due to other driver’s negligence, then get in touch with our experienced motorcycle accident lawyer. We have the experience, expertise and knowledge to guide you through the process and provide you with quality legal representation that you need to get compensated fairly and in a timely manner.

Our motorcycle accident lawyer will work in your best interest and help you get the compensation that you deserve. Our goal is to provide justice to our clients and ensure they have the financial stability to bear the medical expenses and set on the road to recovery with complete independence.

Give us a chance to serve you. Our services are offered on a contingency basis. Call us to schedule a free initial consultation.

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