Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration keeps the statistics on motorcycle accidents. The figures periodically released will hopefully lead to a lessening of motorcycle accidents. Perhaps, courses can be designed as to better educate the prospective motorcycle rider. Motorcycles themselves can be manufactured to lessen the number of accidents. Improvements across the board can always be made.

From 1995-97 motorcycle fatalities decreased. Ever since 1998 the fatalities and crashes have again increased. Naturally, there has been an increase of motorcycles on the road, but that increase has occurred every year. A greater contributor to accidents is the yearning for the ever-larger cc. engines. Thirty years back a 650cc. engine was considered a monster engine. Now it is sometimes considered an entry-level bike by dealers. This along with the younger generation preferring the sport-bike and speeding with them. When driving it is apparent that the sport biker is the biker of choice to be stopped by the police. It should be pointed out that larger displacement engines on motorcycles are not over represented in the accident statistics, but the injuries tend to be more severe. This is logical considering the damage a 700lb. motorcycle can do to the rider if unfortunate enough to have that machine on top of them.

Let us key in on the pure statistics. They are quite interesting. Approximately 75% of accidents occur in collisions between motorcycles and passenger cars. Only 2% of motorcycle accidents are in any way related to the weather. Roadway debris or potholes along with some defect in the motorcycle are also very low percentage contributors to motorcycle accidents. As can be well-imagined alcohol and distractions play an important role in accidents. To drive a motorcycle while intoxicated is a death sentence waiting to be carried out. Most accidents occur close to home.

A very high percentage of motorcycle accidents occur because the automobile did not see the motorcycle or yield it the right-of-way, and the main location is at intersections. An automobile turns left in front of the motorcycle without yielding to the motorcycle. It is important to point out that rarely is it deliberate action on the part of the motorist that causes death or injury to the motorcyclist.

Motorcyclists trained by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation have lower rates of accidents and lower fatality rates. Improvements can always be made in the way of safety. Amazingly, some states still do not require helmets.