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Motorcycle crashes aren’t something you want to mess around with, and there are plenty of statistics to back it up. But the more you know, the safer you can be out there. Here are ten statistics about motorcycle accidents to keep in mind before you ride.
Motorcyclists were nearly 29 times more likely to die in a crash per vehicle mile than drivers in passenger vehicles, according to a 2019 study. And 34 percent of crashes are fatal. Motorcycle crashes have a fatality rate of 53.88 percent per 100,000 registered vehicles, compared to 6.8 percent in light trucks and 9.42 percent in passenger cars.
The bulk of motorcycle accidents happen between 3 pm and 9 pm—41.5 percent, to be exact. There are more people on the roads at this time, and it’s also a time of day when the sun—whether bright and high or drawing dusk—can impact visibility.
Drivers in fatal motorcycle crashes were more likely to have alcohol in their bloodstreams than drivers of fatal car crashes. In 2019, 36 percent of motorcyclists involved in a fatal crash had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of above .01, while 29 percent had a BAC above the legal limit of .08. That’s compared to drivers of passenger cars involved in fatal crashes, where just 24 percent had a BAC above .01, and 26 percent were above .08.
Riding a motorcycle has gotten more deadly in recent years. From 2019 to 2020, fatalities of motorcycle drivers and passengers increased 11 percent. And over the course of the last decade, deaths have increased by 20 percent. In 2020, that meant 5,579 deaths in the United States.
With an estimated 84,000 motorcyclists injured in 2019, injury rates were up 2 percent from the year before. And that only got higher between 2019 and 2020, with injury rates rising another 10 percent.
In 2019, 30 percent of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid license, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In the state of Montana, a valid license includes a regular driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement.
The statistics are clear: wearing a helmet when you’re riding a motorcycle is a good idea. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that helmets have saved more than 25,000 lives from 2002 to 2017 on motorcycles.
Weather plays less of a role in fatal motorcycle crashes than you might think. In 2020, 78.22 percent of fatal crashes happened in clear weather.
A whopping 60 percent of motorcycle crashes that end in a fatality happen on urban roads. And it makes sense—the more vehicles around, the more likely a crash is.
In 2020, 51.73 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involved two vehicles: the motorcycle and another vehicle. That means there’s a potential that the other driver is at fault.
But just because riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, doesn’t mean you deserve to be injured in a crash. It should be possible to ride safely on the streets. But when another driver impacts your safety and causes a crash, sometimes the only recourse is to take legal action. Whether you need to cover medical costs or seek payment for repairs to your bike, Cok Kinzler can help you with your personal injury lawsuit. Get in touch for your free consultation.