New motorcycle accident statistics have been released by the Insurance Information Institute (III). The numbers, mostly from 2015, were compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The numbers are most discouraging.

  • More people are dying on the road. In 2015, 4,976 people died in or from motorcycle accidents. That’s an increase of 8.3 percent from 2014.
  • In that same year, 2015, some 88,000 motorcyclists were injured. That is down from 92,000 the previous year – a 4.3 percent decline.
  • Motorcyclists were 29 times more likely to die than drivers and riders in cars. Cyclists were five times more likely to be injured.
  • Motorcyclists totaled 14 percent of ALL traffic fatalities.
  • This stat may surprise you: More than half of all cyclists killed in accidents in 2015 were older riders.
  • Alcohol remains an enormous problem. In 2015, 27 percent of cyclists involved in deadly crashes had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at or above the legal standard for drunk driving – 0.08 percent.
  • Car and truck drivers in fatal crashes are not much soberer: 21 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
  • Cyclists in fatal crashes were much more likely to be driving without a license: 27 percent, versus 13 percent of car drivers.

The lesson behind these numbers is evident. The thrill of riding includes increased risk – a lot of it. Our advice has not changed: Before turning the key, visualize the people you love, and how much you mean to them.

Additional stats can be found at http://www.iii.org/issue-update/motorcycle-crashes.