Riding Blue Motorcycle Illustration

Motorcycle Crash and Safety Statistics

Last Update: November 2019.

Motorcycle riding is fun and exciting, regardless of your bike and riding style. The wind in your hair, the open road, and adrenaline make each ride a unique experience.

 

The industry is growing as riders enjoy the sense of freedom riding different bikes for various purposes. However, although riding is a popular trend, statistics show that there’s still much room for improvement.

 

The data shows the number of deaths per year, the most frequent accident causes, and a few other things you might want to know about.

Take a few minutes to read some of the most staggering motorbike statistics. We’ve included information on road safety, bike crashes, and several other things you might want to know about.

How Can These Statistics Help You?

  • Do you know where bike crashes are more likely to happen?
  • Do you know where a helmet impact occurs the most?

By knowing these details, you can do a better job of protecting yourself and others while on the road.

Some statistics can be quite helpful, while others are fun to know. Primarily, statistics on bike gear and crashes have a significant impact on how weary some riders are.

 

So, while some statistics might not seem important, others can be quite helpful. For this reason, feel free to share some of these with your fellow riders to spread awareness and interesting facts.

Car vs. Bike Statistics

While biking is fun and exciting, it’s definitely more dangerous than driving a car. Regardless of how careful and safe you are, there’s always a chance of an accident caused by other riders and factors.

 

Bikes aren’t as stable as cars, and rides often lack the protection a car driver has. For this reason, bikers are more likely to be killed or at least injured in a crash.

 

Here are some statistics to back that up:

U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that motorcycles are more likely to be involved in crashes than cars.

On that note, the NHTSA also states that deaths on bikes occur some 28 times more frequently than in any other vehicle, car included.

Statistics on Bike Accidents and Deaths

59% of women killed in bike crashes were passengers, although passenger-carrying bikes aren’t involved in accidents as much.

In 2017 alone, approximately 36% of fatally injured bikers were older than 50 years old, while 28% of fatally injured bikers were younger than 30.

Approximately 28% of fatally injured motorcyclists had 0.08% or more alcohol concentration in their blood.

Almost half of all fatal accidents showed alcohol present. These riders lacked attention and had serious collision avoidance problems.

In 2017, 33% of killed motorcyclists drove bikes with engine sizes larger than 1400c. In 2000, it was 9% while in 1990 it was only 1%.

3/4 of bike accidents involve other vehicles, while only 1/4 are single-vehicle accidents.

2/3 single-vehicle accidents are due to rider errors such as under-cornering, excess speed, and over-braking.

2 SECONDS

In most cases, bikers have less than 2 seconds to try to avoid a collision.

Almost half of those deaths happened on weekends.

Most accidents occur on short trips, usually at the very beginning.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, some 58% of motorcyclist deaths in 2017 occurred in the period from May to September.

Motorbike deaths are more likely to happen in urban areas (53%) than in rural ones (48%).

In 98% of crashes, the weather didn’t have any contribution to the accident.

91% of bikers killed in 2017 were men.

31% of fatally injured riders didn’t have a valid driver’s license.

Only 2% of all motorcycle accidents are caused by roadway damage, potholes, and pavement ridges.

The average speed of a motorcycle before the crash is 29.8 mph. Only in 1/1000 is the speed at 86 mph.

Other vehicles violating motorcycle’s right-of-way is what causes 2/3 of multiple-vehicle accidents.

Intersections are usually where most accidents occur when another vehicle violates the motorbike’s right-of-way or other rules and traffic controls.

Fuel leakage happens in 62% of accidents in the post-crash phase. It opposes a high risk of fire non-present in crashes involving other vehicles.

Lack of attention is still one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Safety Gear Statistics

Helmets, jackets, goggles, boots, and gloves can make all the difference in your safety while riding. While nothing can guarantee you safety, your odds of surviving a crash are much higher when you wear adequate riding gear.

Here Are the Official Statistics:

As stated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, the biggest cause of deaths in motorcycle crashes is a head injury.

Research shows that helmets are effective at reducing the risk of head injury by 69%. They do a great job of preventing death by almost 37%.

Less than 10% of motorcyclists involved in accidents had any insurance.

Wearing armored riding boots reduces the chance of open-wound injuries by as much as 90%, as shown in a study by the Marine Corps Safety and Force Preservation. The risk of other foot injuries is also reduced by 45%.

Almost half of the motorcycle accidents result in lower-leg, ankle, knee, foot, or thigh injury.

Motorcycle protective clothing reduces the chance of open-wound injuries, as stated by the George Institute for Global Health.

A helmet is unlikely to cause an accident if it’s a well-fitted and certified model. (More on Safety Ratings here.)

Illustration of Motorcycle Helmet

Approximately 66% of the time that a helmet impact occurs, it’s around the forehead and chin bar areas, as stated by Dietmar Otte.

Full-face helmets are still the most protective type, significantly reducing face injuries.

However, only 40% of the riders involved in an accident wore a helmet.

Motorcyclists who wear safety clothing are less likely to require hospital help.

As many as 73% of riders involved in accidents didn’t wear any protective eyewear. In most cases, the wind caused impaired vision and delayed hazard detection.

Who Gets Injured the Most?

Men seem to be more into motorcycles than women, although women are present just as well. Because there are more male riders, they’re involved in crashes a bit more often. However, women are a part of these statistics even when they’re not riding, often sitting in the passenger seats.

Out of all motorcycle owners, approximately 81% of them are male.

The median age of these men is 50 years.

According to the MIC Owner survey, 71% of riders are employed while the rest are retired.

Nearly 20% of riders are women, and that number is increasing all the time.

22% of female bikers are Generation X, while 26% of them are Millennials.

34% of women like cruisers the best while 33% of them like scooters, and 10% of them like sportbikes.

Some 80% of women have a college or post-graduate degree.

Also, as much as 57% of all female riders will choose a new bike over a used one.

Riders who are the most present in crashes are usually 16 to 24 years old.

92% of all riders involved in crashes are self-taught.

Most riders who cause an accident have already been involved in at least one in the past.

More than half of the bikers involved in crashes had less than five months of experience with the motorcycle they rode at the time of the crash.

Statistics on Electric Bikes

Electric motorcycles are becoming more popular as the more sustainable way of enjoying riding. Now more than ever, companies are trying to adapt to this new market with different innovative motorcycles.

 

The following statistics are quite impressive, showing how there’s a growing interest in these unique vehicles.

According to TechNavio, we can expect the electric motorcycle industry to grow by 42% by 2021.

As many as 69% of questioned Millennials mentioned that they’re more interested in electric bikes due to their sustainability and environmental impact.