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Motorcycle Accident Statistics


The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that, in 2005, motorcycles accounted for over 3 percent of registered motor vehicles in the United States. Registered and unregistered motorcyclists alike face inherent risks, as motorcycle accident injuries and fatalities have increased in the past decade, due perhaps to factors such as the motorcycle crashworthiness, coincidence of auto accidents and trucking incidents, and other factors such as weather and road conditions. All riders should be aware of these basic motorcycle accident statistics before getting on a bike.

A motorcycle on the road
Because of their comparatively small size, motorcycles can be difficult for drivers of larger automobiles to see on the road.

Injury and Fatality Statistics

In 2005, there were approximately 87,000 injuries and 4,576 fatalities in motorcycle accidents. The NHTS also reports that, per mile traveled in 2005, motorcyclists were about eight times more likely to be injured and 37 times more likely to die than a passenger car occupant in a motor vehicle accident. Per 100 million miles traveled, motorcycle accidents showed a 42.49 percent occupant fatality rate, an 87 percent increase from 1995. These statistics differed greatly from those for passenger cars and light trucks: 1.15 for passenger cars (a 24 percent decrease) and 1.15 for light trucks (a 10 percent decrease). The NHTSA estimates that helmets are 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle accident fatalities, and that 37 of every 100 deaths could have been prevented had the motorcyclist been wearing a helmet.

Factors in Motorcycle Collisions

Of all fatal motorcycle crashes in 2006,

  • 51 percent involved collisions with another motor vehicle
  • 79 percent of these motorcycles were impacted in the front
  • 5 percent were struck in the rear
  • 25 percent involved collisions with fixed objects
  • Versus 18 percent for passenger cars, 12 percent for light trucks, and 3 percent for large trucks
  • 37percent involved speeding by the motorcyclist
  • Versus 23 percent for passenger car drivers, 19 percent for light truck drivers, and 8 percent for large truck drivers
  • 25 percent of motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle accidents were operating their vehicles without a valid license
  • 27 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle operators had BAC levels of .08 or higher (higher than any other type of motor vehicle operator), and an additional 7 percent had BAC levels between .01 and .07)

Locate a Motorcycle Accident Attorney Near You

If you or a loved one is dealing with the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, you need talented legal counsel to improve your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries. Locating a skilled lawyer near you is your first step in assuring your case proceeds as smoothly as possible.

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