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Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle accident statistics are in a class by themselves. This is partly due to the agencies concerned with such information — the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT); the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — categorize motorcycle accidents separately from other vehicular accidents.

We, here at the motorcycle injury firm of Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, have compiled various accident statistics from the CDC and NHTSA.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

In 2018, motor vehicle crash-related deaths involving cars and light trucks dropped 4.1%. During that same time period, motorcycle deaths dropped 4.7%.

A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed the following:

  • Between 2008 and 2017, more than 45,000 motorcyclists were killed and an estimated 903,000 persons were treated in a U.S. emergency department for a non-fatal motorcycle-related injury.
  • The highest death and injury rates were under thirty, followed by 50+.
  • More than half of all nonfatal motorcycle injuries treated in emergency rooms were to the leg/foot (30%) or head/neck (22%).
  • Motorcycle death rates decreased from 2016 to 2017 (61.49 fatalities per 100,000 registered motorcycles in 2016, and 59.34 in 2017).
  • The number of nonfatal motorcyclist injuries that were treated in EDs also increased, from nearly 120,000 injuries in 2001 to about 175,000 in 2008.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides the following motorcycle accident statistics:

  • Motorcycles made up 3% of all registered vehicles in the US in 2017 with about 8,700,000, while there were approximately 193 million light duty vehicles (passenger vehicles and light trucks).
  • In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists were killed and another 89,000 were injured in motorcycle accidents. This is a -3% and -14% delta, respectively.
  • Approximately 164,000 motorcyclists have died between 1975-2017 after the 1966 passage of the Highway Safety and National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
  • Motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to be killed and 9 times more likely to be injured in an accident compared to a vehicle driver.
  • In 2017, about 51% of motorcycle accident fatalities are to people over the age of 40. The rate of motorcycle accident fatalities for riders 30 and younger has increased by 4% since 2008 – from 27% of fatalities in 2008 to 31% of fatalities in 2017.
  • The rate of motorcycle accident fatalities for riders under age 30 has fallen consistently in the last 10 years.
  • In nearly 28 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents, the motorcycle rider had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher (2018 data).
  • In 32 percent of all fatal motorcycle accidents, the rider was speeding.
  • 29% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • 57% of all motorcycles involved in fatal accidents collided with motor vehicles in transport. Of these crashes, 76% were impacted in the front, 7% were rear-ended. 42 of these accidents involve the other vehicle turning left.
  • Twenty-three percent of motorcycles involved in fatal crashes in 2017 collided with fixed objects, compared to 16 percent for passenger cars, 13 percent for light trucks, and 4 percent for large trucks.
  • NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 749 lives could have been saved.

Free Consultation With Our Los Angeles Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury because of a motorcycle accident, contact Scott J. Corwin, A Professional Law Corporation, at 866-477-1011 to schedule a free initial consultation. We handle cases in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, San Diego, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and throughout the state of California.


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