How Many Motorcycle Accidents Are There Each Year?
Compared to cars, motorcycles have fewer fatalities from alcohol. However, motorcycles are still responsible for a third of all alcohol-related crashes in the United States. The number of fatalities has increased by 29 percent in the last decade. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that 84,000 motorcycle accidents result in injuries in 2019.
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Motorcycles have high-performance capabilities, but they are also less stable than cars and trucks. They also lack safety features such as airbags, which can protect passengers from traumatic injuries. A high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can impair a driver’s reaction time, making them more likely to make a wrong turn or run into another vehicle. This means that motorcycle drivers need to be extra careful in urban areas.
Motorcycle accidents are primarily caused by driver errors. Speeding and aggressive driving are two common reasons for crashes. However, motorcyclists are also vulnerable to weather conditions. Rain, fog, and poor visibility decrease traction and increase the risk of an accident. Almost half of the motorcycle accidents occur at night.
Motorcycle crashes are also more likely to occur during the weekend. For example, half of all motorcycle fatalities occur during the weekend. This number is particularly high during the winter months when the weather is colder. Also, heavy traffic makes driving more dangerous. During the weekend, a motorcyclist’s risk of fatality increases by 1.8 times compared to during the week.
Motorcyclists are also at greater risk of death if they are not wearing a helmet. Helmets are highly effective at preventing fatalities and brain injuries. However, only 18 states have laws that require all motorcycle riders to wear a helmet. In 2020, 57% of fatal crashes involved a motorcycle rider who was not wearing a helmet. Among motorcyclists aged 25 to 29 years old, 45 percent of fatal crashes involved speeding.
Drivers aged 50 and older are at a higher risk of being involved in a motorcycle crash. Drivers aged 50 and older make up 36 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders. This represents an increase from the 3 percent of fatally injured motorcyclists who were aged 50 or older in 1975.
In 2020, the number of fatal motorcycle crashes grew by 9%. The highest number of motorcycle fatalities occurred in California, Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. However, the number of motorcycle accidents has never been below 81,000 in the past decade.
Motorcycle fatalities are also more likely to occur in urban areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 61 percent of motorcycle fatalities occurred in urban areas. Urban areas have more densely populated roads. Traffic is also more congested during the weekend when motorcycles are more likely to be involved in crashes. Despite these risks, the NHTSA estimates that more than 86,000 motorcycle accidents occurred with injuries in 2019.
Motorcycles are less stable than cars and trucks. They also have a smaller turning radius, making them more vulnerable to accidents. Also, drivers of motorcycles are less likely to have a driver’s license. Many accidents aren’t reported, so it’s best to speak to an attorney if you or a loved one is injured in a motorcycle crash.