Riding a motorcycle is riskier than riding in a car, for pretty obvious reasons. Car passengers have a steel cage surrounding them which has been specially designed to absorb and redirect energy. By contrast, motorcyclists have absolutely no protection. When hit by a vehicle, motorcyclists can go flying through the air and suffer even more injuries than car occupants who are usually strapped in.
Here are the receipts which show just how dangerous motorcycle accidents are compared to car accidents:
- Only 3% of all vehicles on the road are motorcycles, but motorcyclists make up 14% of road fatalities. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) That’s almost five times higher than it should be.
- A motorcyclist is roughly 29 times more likely than the occupant of a car to die in a crash, when miles per traveled are considered. (Insurance Information Institute)
- A motorcyclist over 40 is 20 times more likely to suffer an accident injury than a car driver of similar age. (NADA Guides)
- Occupant fatality rates for motorcycles in 2019 were 58.33 per 100,000 registered vehicles. By contrast, light trucks had a fatality rate of 6.80 and passenger cars had a rate of 9.42. (Insurance Information Institute)
- The fatality rate for motorcycles increased over the past decade. From 2010 to 2019, it rose 3.4% per 100,000 registered vehicles. The rate for light trucks declined a staggering 28.8% and passenger cars increased only 2.1%. (Insurance Information Institute)
All of these numbers show that motorcycle accidents are more traumatic than car accidents. Motorcyclists are at greater risk of death, and they typically sustain more serious injuries.
Motorcycle Safety is Not Improving
Although riding a motorcycle is risky, there are important steps bikers can take to reduce the chances of death or disability. For example, they could wear a helmet:
- Helmets have been shown to reduce risk of serious brain injury by 69% and fatality by 37%. (Centers for Disease Control)
- Helmet usage is slipping. In 2021, only 65% of motorcyclists wore helmets, down from a high of 71% in 2019. (Insurance Information Institute)
- The fatality rate continues to creep up. It was 25.47 per 100 million miles traveled in 2019, compared to 25.09 in 2018 and 23.00 in 2014. (Insurance Information Institute)
The best thing you can do is put on a helmet, which does not significantly reduce your peripheral vision or ability to hear.
One bright spot: technology. The rate of fatal accidents is roughly 22% lower for motorcycles with antilock brake systems than for other models. If ABS becomes standard, then the fatality rate could be cut significantly across the country.
Injured in a Motorcycle Accident? We Can Assist You
Because injuries are so serious, motorcycle accident victims need a zealous advocate in their corner. Contact Quinn Law Group today. Many people wrongly blame bikers for their own wrecks, so obtaining compensation is challenging. We have the tools you need to negotiate a settlement with the at-fault motorist or even file a lawsuit in court.