Are You More Likely to Get Into an Accident on a Motorcycle?

Motorcyclist on open road

Every time you drive a vehicle on the road, you put yourself at a slight risk of experiencing a vehicular accident. However, you may be wondering: are you more likely to get into an accident on a motorcycle than in a passenger vehicle? 

A few factors elevate the risk of an accident for motorcycle riders compared to traditional drivers. Read on to learn the frequency of motorcycle accidents and a few factors that increase the risk of these crashes. 

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Reviewing motorcycle accident statistics can allow you to understand the frequency and severity of motorcycle crashes. 

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), motorcyclists accounted for 14% of traffic accident deaths and 3% of occupant injuries in 2019. Additionally, around 84,000 motorcyclists experienced injuries due to vehicle accidents in 2018.  

According to the Insurance Information Institute, 5,014 motorcycle accident fatalities occurred in 2019. There were 8.5 million registered motorcycles in the U.S. in 2019, leading to a fatality rate of 58.33 per 100,000 motorcycles. Meanwhile, the fatality rate of passenger vehicle occupants was much lower at 9.42 per 100,000 occupants. 

Additionally, motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely to die in a vehicle accident than occupants in passenger vehicles in 2019. They were also four times more likely to experience injuries. 

Factors That Increase the Risk of Accidents on Motorcycles vs. Cars 

Several factors increase the risk of a motorcyclist becoming involved in an accident compared to a passenger vehicle driver. Here are a few of the most common ones: 

Low Visibility

Many motorcycle accidents occur when drivers fail to notice motorcyclists. Because motorcycles are smaller than passenger vehicles, some drivers overlook them when checking their blind spots. When weather conditions create poor visibility, motorcyclists may be at an even higher risk of an accident.

Additionally, according to the NSC, around 61% of motorcycle accidents in 2019 occurred in urban settings, while 38.62% occurred in rural areas. This is because traffic tends to be heavier in urban environments, leading drivers to overlook motorcyclists or make faster driving decisions. 

Poor Traction 

Motorcycles tend to have excellent traction on clean, dry roads. However, attempting to ride in snowy or rainy conditions places motorcyclists at a higher risk of losing traction or sliding off the road. Motorcycles can only rely on two wheels for traction, while many passenger vehicles can utilize four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. 

Improper Training

You must have a motorcycle license to ride a motorcycle on a public road. Additionally, safely riding a motorcycle requires extensive training and practice. 

However, many motorcyclists fail to obtain the proper licenses before heading out on their bikes. As a result, they may not have adequate training and experience to operate their motorcycles safely. 

Lane Splitting

Motorcyclists sometimes participate in risky behaviors that increase their accident risks while riding their bikes. For example, lane splitting is a frequent practice amongst motorcyclists. However, this practice is unsafe in most situations because drivers do not anticipate motorcyclists to ride between the pre-marked traffic lanes. 

Final Consensus: Are You More Likely to Get Into an Accident on a Motorcycle? 

We can’t say for sure whether you’re statistically more likely to get into an accident on a motorcycle than in a car. However, data suggests that motorcycle accidents tend to be more severe and lead to more fatalities than passenger vehicle accidents. 

If you’re a motorcyclist, taking measures to avoid accidents is essential to your safety. However, if you have been a motorcycle accident victim, our Law Tigers team can help. Contact us today at 1-888-863-7216 to schedule a free consultation.