Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration consistently show that that operating a motorcycle on the roadways in America is a risky proposition, with accident rates much higher that other motor vehicles. Here are some startling and sobering statistics.
- The number of fatal crashes involving a motorcycle is nearly six times that involving a car. An NHTSA study found approximately 13 fatal accidents for every 100,000 crashes involving automobiles, but more than 72 deaths for a similar number of motorcycle wrecks. For every mile traveled, a motorcyclist is 35 times as likely to be involved in a fatal accident.
- In 2013, 14% of all traffic deaths involved motorcycles, even though motorcycles only make up about three percent of all registered vehicles in the country and less than three-quarters of one percent of all vehicle miles traveled in the U.S.
- Over the last decade, motorcycle fatalities have gone up by nearly 16%, with the bulk (55%) of deaths involving bikers over the age of 40. The average age of bikers who have suffered fatal accidents has increased from 38 to 42 during the last 10 years.
- Motorcyclists are more likely than other drivers to exceed the posted speed limit. More than a third of the deaths involving bikers in 2013 were in situations where the motorcyclist was traveling at a rate of speed higher that the posted limit. During the same period, only 8 percent of commercial truck fatalities involved excessive speed and just one in five car accidents were caused in some part by speeding.
- Weekends are most deadly for bikers, with more than half of the fatal accidents between 6 pm Friday and 6 am Monday.