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Most motorcyclists know they face a higher risk of injury/death than passenger vehicle occupants and that any injuries suffered in a crash are likely to be much more severe. Despite their best efforts to avoid a crash, motorcyclists can fall victim to other drivers’ carelessness.

Knowing the following statistics may make motorcyclists more aware of consequences. These are based on the latest statistics available for the year 2019:

•  5,014 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2019;

•  Motorcycle deaths accounted for 14% of all motor vehicle crash deaths in 2019;     

•  The rate of unlicensed fatally injured motorcycle drivers was 31% compared to unlicensed fatally

     injured automobile drivers at 16%;

•  39% of motorcyclist deaths occurred in single-car crashes and 61% occurred in multiple-car crashes;

•  37% of motorcycle fatalities involved drivers older than 50. In contrast, 27% of fatally injured

    motorcyclists were younger than 30;

•  91% of motorcyclists killed were males;

•  61% of fatalities were helmeted;

•  63% of motorcyclist deaths occurred during May to September. Fatalities peaked in August and were

    lowest in January;

•  48% of motorcyclist deaths occurred on weekends and were more likely to occur after 6:00 p.m.

•  Deaths were more likely to occur in urban rather than rural areas (61% vs. 38%);

•  29% of fatalities had blood alcohol at or above .08%. In single car crashes this increased to 42%.


Reasons for Motorcycle Fatalities

Motorcycles have no seat belts or other forms of restraint. Because of this, the riders will easily be thrown during an accident. Motorcycles are more susceptible to road hazards such as potholes, ruts, loose gravel, and other conditions found on poorly maintained roads. Drivers of passenger vehicles fail to see motorcycles. Motorcycles may not be seen in a vehicle’s blind spot. Also, some motorcycles are small in design and harder to detect. Finally, there is more skill involved in steering and controlling a motorcycle than a passenger vehicle.

Ways to Avoid Motorcycle Fatalities

First, motorcyclists should aim to be visible. Don’t ride in heavy rain, fog, or other conditions that make you difficult to see. Wearing bright colors or a reflective vest can help improve your visibility to other drivers.

Second, don’t drive aggressively. This includes, speeding, racing, or weaving in and out of traffic. Regular passenger cars are unable to maneuver to avoid a motorcycle.

Be a skilled and aware driver. Take an Academy of Motorcycle Operation course of training or the CHP  Motorcyclist Safety Program course.

When lane-splitting, follow the requirements and suggestions: Never ride 10 miles per hour more than the surrounding traffic; never lane split at speeds greater than 30 miles per hour; never lane split around large vehicles; always take surrounding traffic conditions into account.

Always wear a helmet and protective gear.


If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash, or lost a loved one if the crash was fatal, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible after the accident and before you talk to an insurance adjuster or sign anything. Contact us now for a free case evaluation with absolutely no obligation.