When we’re enjoying the freedom of a motorcycle on the open road, it gives us an unmatched sense of freedom. After all, as well-trained riders using good gear, we’ve taken great lengths to cover our tails in case something happens.
However, the reality is that you’re not the only one to worry about on the road – there are reckless drivers, road conditions, and unforeseen mechanical issues which contribute to motorcycle crashes. It’s better to be informed and cautious, so we took a look at what percentage of motorcycle riders get in accidents, as well as how you can proactively prevent yourself from being in one..
What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents?
The answer to this question varies by year and location, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration annually reports on these statistics. Over 14% of the accidents that involved a fatality (roughly 5,000+ each year since 2019) were attributed to motorcycles – a rate that is far higher than other vehicle types.
Additionally, it is an estimate that may run lower than reality, as many motorcycle accidents go unreported. This is due to the rate of single-vehicle crashes (the type of accident that goes most unreported) being highest in motorcycle riding as well.
Motorcycle Accident Rate
While the exact percentage of motorcycle riders that get in accidents is difficult to pinpoint, we do have some definite data regarding motorcycle crashes:
Motorcycle Injury Statistics:
- Motorcycle injuries and crash rates have declined since 2016.
- The majority of motorcycle injuries occur in good weather on urban roads.
- Nearly 41% of motorcycle rider deaths are without helmets.
- Over 30% of motorcycle fatalities in 2019 were from unlicensed riders.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics:
- Speeding was a contributor to 33% of crashes in motorcycle accidents.
- Alcohol impairment was a contributor to over 15% of motorcycle crashes.
- Over $3.5 billion in economic costs could be saved in accidents by wearing helmets.
- Supersport motorcycles have a critical accident rate over 4 times higher than other styles of bikes.
The data and trends support that riding safely and within the law are the best ways to avoid a motorcycle accident, injury, or death. We all love to ride fast and free, but there are proper ways to do so safely.
Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Accidents
A few points to consider when riding a motorcycle are that, 1) you are not protected in the same way as a traditional vehicle, 2) your movements may not be familiar to other motorists, and 3) motorcycles often get lost in the blind spots of traditional vehicles. These factors (among others) contribute to a higher rate of crashes and fatalities for motorcycles accidents vs. car accidents.
- Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers.
- Cars making a left-hand turn account for 42% of accidents involving a car and motorcycle.
- Distracted driving and driver fatigue are more influential in car accidents than motorcycles.
- Motorcycles strike fixed objects at higher rates than motor vehicles.
These statistics are consistent over the last couple decades, and line up with the way motorcycle injuries and fatalities are distributed. If there is a takeaway here, it is to learn the rules for safe riding along with the laws in your state, so it’ll become secondhand being careful around other motorists while you’re out on the road.
How to Stay Safe While Riding
Riding a fast-moving vehicle with no surrounding protection is always going to be inherently risky. However, you can do your best to cut down on accidents, injuries, and other potential catastrophe by doing the following:
- ATGATT (all the gear, all the time): We are never planning to get into an accident, but the number one way to ensure our safety in the case that something unfortunate happens is to wear proper protective clothing. These include motorcycle-specific pants, gloves, jackets, and helmets.
- Try Not to Ride in Inclement Weather: While it can’t always be avoided, be extra careful in rain, snow, or difficult visibility conditions.
- Take Lane Splitting Seriously: Lane splitting is illegal in many states for a reason: motor vehicles are not good at dealing with motorcyclists who do so. While you might think it a safe maneuver in the moment, make sure it is legal in your area and that you’re doing it cautiously.
- Never Ride Under the Influence: While this might seem obvious, it’s always worth repeating. After drinking or consuming any mind-altering substance, it is never okay to ride a motorcycle – for both yours and the sake of others.
A broader way to look at motorcycle safety is that your actions are going to be magnified without the safety mechanisms that traditional vehicles have. Thus, you need to be thinking about safety as often as possible so that you don’t find yourself in a bad situation due to an accident.
Finding a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer
We highly recommend having a relationship with a reputable motorcycle accident lawyer before you ever need one. The best motorcycle legal firms will often have resources to help you learn about motorcycle safety, and you will immediately have representation should something happen.
Make sure that a motorcycle law firm near you is dedicated to serving your local community and is familiar with your state and regional laws. Generic legal advice from someone not in the motorcycle accident niche is unlikely to be as comprehensive, and this could cost you time, money, and your freedom to ride if something goes wrong.
Don’t Manage Your Accident Alone – Contact Law Tigers
At Law Tigers, we’re committed to helping our riders stay safe and covered in the event that an accident occurs. Our team of dedicated member attorneys collectively have decades of experience in getting the best outcomes for motorcycle accident and injury victims.
If you’re looking to get the proper legal coverage you need, please reach out today. One of our representatives would be happy to make sure that you’re taken care of by Law Tigers member lawyer!