Motorcycle accidents frequently cause serious injury or wrongful death. Collisions with fixed objects, collisions with vehicles, and drunk driving are frequently cited factors that cause the majority of these accidents. As such, motorcyclists should pay close attention to these risks every time they head out for a ride.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
In 2018, 4,985 motorcyclists died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. In all, approximately 14% of all motor vehicle accidents involve a motorcycle. Nationwide, motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to experience a fatal injury than passengers within automobiles. It’s estimated that just over 4% of all motorcycle wrecks result in a fatality. Equally as concerning is data that shows 45% of all motorcycle crashes result in serious injury.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Approximately 25% of motorcycle accidents involve collisions with fixed objects such as bollards, walls, fences, parked vehicles, etc. Roughly 30% of accidents are single-vehicle accidents where the rider loses control over the motorcycle on slippery roads, gravel, etc.
Only about 3% of motorcycle accidents are the result of vehicle failure. These include flat tires, damaged brakes, etc. Similarly, about 2% involve bad weather conditions, and 2% involve poor road maintenance. By comparison, 75% of all motorcycle accidents involve collisions with other vehicles. In all, bout 67% of accidents involving another vehicle occur when the driver of the truck, passenger vehicle, etc. violates the motorcyclists right of way.
When fatalities occur, roughly 33% of all motorcycle accidents involve the consumption of alcohol. Of these, 27% of motorcyclists involved in these accidents were the one who was drinking. When serious injuries occur, approximately 32% involve driving at excessive speed.
Finally, it is no surprise that motorcyclists who wore helmets were better protected against head injury and death. When motorcyclists wore helmets, they had a 69% reduction in the risk of head injury, and 50% less chance of suffering a fatal injury in the accident.
Motorcyclists Must Be Proactive
Knowing these risks and the frequency with which they cause motorcycle accidents can help motorcyclists protect themselves. These include adopting safe driving behaviors including obeying posted speed limits, closely monitoring the actions of other motorists, not drinking and driving, etc. Motorcyclists should stay particularly alert at busy intersections, in the evening hours, and on weekends when the majority of motorcycle accidents occur.