Stay Safe: 10 Motorcycle Accident Statistics To Know in 2024

May 6, 2024

motorcycle accident statistics explained by Riders Share, a peer-to-peer motorcycle rental company

While the thrill and convenience of riding a motorcycle, or motorcycle rental, is undeniable, unfortunately, so is the safety risk. Even riders who follow every motorcycle law and safety tip to a T can get into an accident due to a variety of factors, such as road conditions, weather, and other drivers. Stay extra safe on the road this year by keeping up-to-date on important motorcycle accident statistics.

Scroll down to view special statistics from Riders Share's accident claims from 2019-2024 for better insight into real-time information. Stay informed- knowledge is power.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Understanding the risks involved in motorcycle riding can help improve safety on the roads. Here are ten recent statistics that shed light on common causes and factors in motorcycle accidents.

1. More Road Deaths Despite Fewer Cars

Even though we might expect fewer cars on the roads to lead to fewer accidents, motorcycle deaths have not decreased. In 2023, statistics show that around 40,990 people died in traffic crashes across all vehicles, which is a slight decrease from previous years. For motorcycles, the risk remains higher, with a death rate of 1.26 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled​, as researched by the NHTSA​.

2. Helmets Save Lives

Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways for riders to protect themselves. While the latest detailed statistics for 2023-2024 are still being compiled, past data strongly supports the effectiveness of helmets in preventing serious injuries​. The CDC states that “motorcycle helmets are 37 percent (for riders) and 41 percent (for passengers) effective in preventing deaths. Helmets reduce the risk of head injury by 69%.” 

3. Where Motorcycles Most Often Get Hit

The front of the motorcycle is still where most crashes happen. This claim comes from 2017 data compiled by the NHTSA that states, “In two-vehicle crashes, 76 percent of the motorcycles involved in motor vehicle traffic crashes were impacted in the front. Only 7 percent were impacted in the rear.” Given these statistics, our advice is to always remain vigilant, especially on days when visibility may not be the best. 

4. States with the Most Motorcycle Deaths

The most recent data points out that in 2022, Florida, California, and Texas had the highest number of motorcycle deaths. These findings highlight areas where more safety measures might be needed​.

5. When Accidents Most Likely Occur

Most motorcycle accidents occur in the late afternoon to evening, specifically from 6 pm to 9 pm, is when most motorcycle accidents happen, especially on weekends. This pattern suggests that drivers should be extra cautious during these hours.

6. Types of Motorcycle Crashes

Most motorcycle fatalities involve multiple vehicles. Research provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that “Thirty-eight percent of motorcyclist deaths in 2021 occurred in single-vehicle crashes, and 62% occurred in multiple-vehicle crashes.” 

7. Impact of Alcohol on Motorcycle Fatalities

Alcohol continues to play a significant role in motorcycle fatalities. Analysis of recent years has shown a consistent pattern where alcohol impairment contributes notably to accidents, with “more than a quarter of deadly motorcycle accidents (27%) were alcohol-involved crashes. This includes single-vehicle accidents, which account for 41% of alcohol-impaired motorcycle crashes and which resulted in 880 motorcyclist deaths in 2020.” Riders are reminded of the dangers of drinking and riding, as it significantly increases the risk of a fatal outcome​. 

8. Motorcycle and Car Collisions

One of the most common types of motorcycle accidents occurs when a car makes a left-hand turn in front of a motorcycle, often leading to severe consequences. This statistic was confirmed in 2021 data by the NHTSA, which claims that “in 2021 there were 3,052 fatal two-vehicle crashes each involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle. In 43 percent (1,315) of these crashes, the other vehicles were turning left while the motorcycles were going straight, passing, or overtaking other vehicles. Both vehicles were going straight in 640 crashes (21%).” This type of accident highlights the importance of awareness and caution at intersections and when making turns​.

9. Fault in Motorcycle Accidents

In many motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle, the fault often lies with the car driver. Violations of the motorcyclist's right-of-way are a frequent issue, which is a fact that should be kept in the minds of riders when they get on the road.

10. Legal Representation and Compensation

Considering legal representation can significantly impact your compensation if you are involved in a motorcycle accident. A study from the Insurance Research Council shows that people who hired a lawyer received 40% more money in their insurance settlement than those who didn’t. 

According to St. Petersburg motorcycle lawyer Robert Healy, this is because attorneys have more pertinent knowledge for the negotiations. They can use their vast experience and knowledge of the law to get the insurance company to pay out the deserved amount of compensation. Since consumers rarely know intricate legal details, it’s worth hiring a lawyer if you get injured.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics in 2024 from Riders Share

As the largest peer-to-peer motorcycle rental platform in the world, Riders Share decided to release our claims statistics for a few reasons. For one, accidents are sometimes inevitable, and not the fault of the rider. Someone can be as safe a rider as any, and still end up in an accident. With that said- there’s power in knowledge. We encourage all riders to stay safe on the road, especially on an unfamiliar bike on an unfamiliar road. Knowing these statistics can help you make safer, more informed decisions when riding. 

SOURCE: Riders Share

[The below statistics are sums are based on claims per 100,000 miles]

  • Risk of accidents decrease with age and riding experience: Younger riders (<25) experience the highest claims rate (18.31), potentially correlated to less experienced riders. Mature riders (>65) have the lowest claims rate (4.93), indicating that more experience comes with safer riding. 
  • Motorcycle make: The motorcycle make with the highest claims (14.42) is Kawasaki, which is often more favorable among younger riders. Next up is Ducati, which is associated with faster riding and a younger audience. The lowest claims come from Indian (5.89), which is often more favored among older riders. 
  • Motorcycle type makes a big difference too: Scooters and sports bikes have the highest rates at 17.92 and 16.36, respectively, due to frequent use in urban, high-traffic areas, while touring bikes report the lowest rate at 4.35, attributed to usage on long-distance, less congested routes, and high-performance motorcycles typically experience higher claim rates because of faster speeds and more aggressive riding styles.
  • Large decrease in Riders Share insurance claims since 2019: Claims have reduced from 11.86 in 2019 to 6.84 in 2023, indicating improvements in safety measures or reporting accuracy over time within Riders Share’s platform, requirements, and risk assessment.
  • Smaller displacements = more accidents: Riders Share data shows that larger displacements (>1850 cc) have the lowest claims (4.85), suggesting that riders of larger bikes may be more experienced and cautious. Smaller displacements (<500 cc) have the highest rates (16.04), which may reflect less experienced riders or challenging conditions like urban traffic. 
  • The local rider seems to get in more accidents than the traveler: At Riders Share, we serve both local and traveling riders. But contrary to what some may think, it’s not always the unfamiliar roads that lead to more claims. Our statistics show that local riders file more claims (12.62) than the traveler (7.45). 
  • Experience, as you could imagine, has a lot to do with it: Riders with 5 years of experience and under got into the most accidents (16.66) compared to riders with 9-11 years (9.80) and over 12 years of experience (6.16). Accidents begin to decrease after 5 years of riding experience (16.66 to 11.98).

How to Make Your Motorcycle Riding Experience Safer

Making your motorcycle riding experience safer involves a few practical steps that can reduce your risk on the road:

  • Wear Proper Gear: Always wear a helmet that meets safety standards. Wearing protective clothing like a jacket, gloves, and boots can protect you from severe injuries in case of an accident.
  • Stay Visible: Use bright colors and reflective gear to make yourself more visible to other drivers. Keep your headlights on, even during the day, to help other vehicles notice you.
  • Follow Traffic Rules: Pay attention to and follow speed limits, traffic signals, and lane markings. Avoid weaving between lanes and always use your turn signals to indicate your direction to other road users.
  • Stay Sober: Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Impaired riding drastically increases the likelihood of accidents.
  • Take a Motorcycle Safety Course: Even experienced riders can benefit from courses that refresh skills and teach advanced techniques for safe riding.

    By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your rides while minimizing the risks associated with motorcycle riding. Learn more about safe riding in our blog: The Basics of Motorcycle Safety.