Stay Safe: 10 Motorcycle Accident Statistics To Know

Dec 27, 2021

While the thrill and convenience of riding a motorcycle 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.

1. Even though fewer people were on the road in 2020, fatal crashes increased.

According to the NHTSA, there were 5,458 fatal motorcycle crashes, which is a 9% increase from 2019, despite a 13.2% decrease in miles traveled that year.

2. Helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017, according to NHTSA.

If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 749 lives could have been saved. Only 20 states in the U.S. have a universal helmet law, but they are recommended for everyone. Fortunately, helmet use has increased by 23% since 2002.
3. The most common point of contact for motorcycle accidents is being struck on the front of the vehicle (76%).

The 2019 NHTSA traffic safety report also says that 23% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved a fixed object, not another vehicle. The least likely type of fatal crash is getting hit on the side or back.

4. The three states with the highest rate of motorcycle fatalities are Louisiana, South Carolina, and Mississippi.

Other warm states such as Texas made it high on the list, so the trend could reflect locations where it’s warm enough to ride more often.
5. On weekdays, the most common time of day to be killed on a motorcycle is between 3pm and 6pm. On weekends, it's from 6pm to 9pm.

Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that these time frames are the riskiest for motorcycle riders, so be extra vigilant.

6. In fatal motorcycle crashes, the most common type of crash involves two vehicles (53%).

Next in line are crashes that only involve the motorcycle in question, which make up 40% of fatal crashes. Coming in third at 7% is fatal crashes that involve at least three vehicles, according to NSC Injury Facts.
7. 79% of motorcycle fatalities in 2019 involved alcohol

The two states that had the most fatalities from being illegally intoxicated (BAC .08 or higher) were Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

8. The most common cause of a motorcycle and car accident is when the car is making a left-hand turn.

This is a deadly type of crash, and it happens when the car does not abide by the right-of-way law and fails to yield to the motorcycle.

9. 60% of motorcycle accidents are the fault of the other motorist, according to a study conducted at the University of South Florida.

This confirms findings published in a well-known study called the Hurt Report, which found that in crashes involving two vehicles, the non-motorcycle vehicle violated the right-of-way in two-thirds of cases.

10. If you get injured in a motorcycle accident, hiring an attorney is likely to get you much more compensation.

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.

These safety risks are not meant to deter you - in fact, car drivers face very similar risks on the road. By knowing the most common dangerous situations for a motorcyclist, you can ride with more awareness of your surroundings. Stay sharp, stay safe, and have a great ride.