Motorcycle accident statistics


Motorcycle crashes were responsible for nearly 5,000 deaths. Motorcyclists were 27x more likely to be in a fatal accident than passengers per mile traveled that year.

Each year, motorcycle crashes happen. They can cause property damage and even death. Motorcycles are often overlooked and not easily seen, making them more at risk than other types. The open design of motorcycles means that they are not protected as well as standard cars. Two-wheel vehicles pose a greater risk than fully enclosed vehicles. They require balance, stability, concentration and coordination. A motorcycle’s driver is also more vulnerable to road hazards and weather.

Bankrate provides an in-depth analysis using the most recent data to analyze the motorcycle accident statistics for 2021.

Key motorcycle accident statistics

  • 89% of motorcycle deaths were caused by good weather conditions.
  • Nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in motorcycle accidents in 2018.
  • Motorcyclists died 27 times more often than passengers in cars for the same vehicle miles.
  • Helmets can save lives and are 37% efficient at preventing motorbike accidents and 67% efficient at preventing brain injuries.
  • Only 18 states and District of Columbia require helmet use.
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Car accidents vs. motorcycle accidents

A study of 2018 accidents showed that there were four times as many car collisions involving passenger vehicles than those involving motorcycles. The rate per vehicle registered is much higher than that of light trucks and passenger cars. It is particularly disturbing to see the rate per 100,000,000 vehicle miles. Motorcycles are involved in fatal crashes at more than 25%, while this number is less than 1.5% for light trucks and passenger cars.

Annual motorcycle accidents

Each year, motorcycles are involved in a variety of types of accidents. These include fatalities, injuries, and property-damaging accidents. A study of 2018 motorcycle crashes revealed that there were 109,000. Most of the crashes resulted in injury with about one-quarter of all accidents causing property damage.

What are the causes of motorcycle accidents?

A combination of factors can lead to motorcycle accidents, including:

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Annual motorcycle injuries

There was a general decrease in motorcycle accidents between 2014 and 2018, with more than 50 deaths. The highest annual number of motorcycle injuries was in 2016, with more than 100,000 deaths. The motorcycle accident rate increased in the years that followed but not to the same extent as 2016. It was interesting to note that 2018 saw the lowest vehicle miles traveled. 2016 had the highest.

What are the most common types of motorbike injuries?

Motorcycle injuries are often more severe than those suffered in an accident. These injuries can include:

  • Road burns/road rash
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation
  • Injury to the spinal cord
  • Paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
  • Death

Deaths on motorcycles every year

With a total of 4,985 deaths, 2018 saw a decline in motorcycle fatalities. This was the lowest death toll since 2014 when there had been just over 4,600 deaths. The highest death rate in 2016 was 5,337, with the most mileage traveled over the five-year span from 2014 to 2018.

What causes motorcycle deaths?

Motorcycle fatalities are many times higher than those of passenger cars and light trucks. Both registered vehicles and miles traveled far outweigh other types of vehicle types.

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Factors that can impact motorcycle accidents

These are the main factors that can impact motorcycle accidents.

  • Time of day
  • Setting
  • Weather
  • Driving under the influence

Each subset is subject to NSC and iii analysis.

Motorcycle deaths at the end of the day

According to the iii, most fatalities occur between noon and 9 p.m. on weekdays. Weekends between noon and midnight are the worst. No matter what day it is, commuters who are returning from work or happy hour are most likely to die between 6 p.m. on weekdays. There were 1,067 deaths between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m.

Motorcycle deaths due to setting

The NSC data shows that motorcycle deaths are more common in urban areas then in rural areas. 61.38% of motorcycle deaths occurred on urban roads, while 38.62% were in rural areas. Half of all crashes occurred during the day.

Weather-related motorcycle deaths

The most shocking thing about motorcycle deaths is that 89% of them occur in good weather. NSC defines this as clear skies or cloudy skies. About 2% of motorcycle deaths were caused by rain, 0.36% by fog and nearly 9% due to unknown causes.

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Drunk driving and motorcycle deaths

There are generally fewer motorcycle-impaired fatalities than those involving alcohol and motorbikes. This applies to pedestrian and passenger vehicle fatalities. Vehicles accounted for 32% of alcohol-related fatalities, but motorcycles accounted for 31%.

How does helmet use impact motorcycle deaths?

Helmets have been shown to reduce injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and even death. It appears that education and advocacy work, with helmet use increasing steadily over the past five years, from 61% to 71%.

Data clearly shows that motorcycle riders are more at risk than other drivers. The most alarming thing about motorcycle deaths is the fact that they occur in sunny weather. This shows that motorcycle riders can’t be too cautious, especially when driving on urban roads. You can keep yourself and your passengers safe by practicing defensive driving and wearing a helmet when riding your motorcycle. You can avoid accidents and stay safe with motorcycle insurance.

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