Motorcycle Accident Rates
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2006, 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal crashes. The rate for motorcycles is 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles. Motorcycles also have a higher fatality rate. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists’ risk of a fatal crash is 35 times greater than a passenger car.
A national study by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATS) found that:
- Motorcycle rider death rates increased among all rider age groups between 1998 and 2000
- Motorcycle rider deaths were nearly 30 times more than drivers of other vehicles
- Motorcycle riders aged below 40 are 36 times more likely to be killed than other vehicle operators of the same age.
- Motorcycle riders aged 40 years and over are around 20 times more likely to be killed than other drivers of that same age.
Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents
A major work done on this subject in the USA is the Hurt Report. Notable findings quoted below:
- “In the single vehicle accidents, motorcycle rider error was present as the accident precipitating factor in about two-thirds of the cases, with the typical error being a slide-out and fall due to over braking or running wide on a curve due to excess speed or under-cornering.”
- “Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement” and “injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size.”
- “In the multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other vehicle violated the motorcycle right-of-way and caused the accident in two-thirds of those accidents.”
- “The wearing of appropriate gear, specifically helmets and durable garments, mitigates crash injuries substantially.”
- “Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of these motorcycle accidents, and most of those were accidents where control was lost due to a puncture flat” and “Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents.”
- “The failure of motorists to detect and recognize motorcycles in traffic is the predominating cause of motorcycle accidents.”
Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps-on in daylight and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.”