How Dangerous Are Motorcycles?

When it comes to motorcycles, the truth is that they can be dangerous. Riding a motorcycle makes you four times more likely to sustain an injury in a crash.

When someone is riding a motorcycle, they are much more exposed and much less protected than when operating or riding as a passenger in a car or truck. A motorcycle accident attorney in Stockton can help if you have been in a motorcycle accident.

With over 80,000 motorcycle riders sustaining injuries from motorcycle accidents over the course of a year and a total of nearly 500 injuries occurring per 100 million miles traveled via motorcycle, it is clear motorcycles can be dangerous.

Fatality Statistics

Studies have found that motorcyclists account for 14% of all US crash-related fatalities despite making up only 3.5% of all the vehicles on the road. 

These statistics continue with motorcyclists being 28 times more likely than other motorists to die in a crash, and they are 40 times more likely than light truck occupants to suffer fatalities.

It seems that motorcycles are getting more dangerous. In recent years, nearly 6,000 motorcyclists lost their lives in motor vehicle-related crashes.

Unlicensed Drivers

All states require you to have a motorcycle endorsement as a supplement to your standard driver’s license to operate a motorcycle. Despite this, many motorcycle accidents involve untrained drivers.

Out of all fatal motorcycle accidents, 36% of those involve riders who do not have a valid motorcycle driver’s license. Each state’s requirements vary. Typically, motorcyclists are required to pass a written test and a driving test to earn their endorsement.

What Makes Motorcycles Dangerous?

While motorcycles are dangerous all on their own, there are a few factors that can make riding a motorcycle even more risky.

Statistics show that the risk of a motorcycle accident occurring is not equal year-round. 

August is the most dangerous month to ride a motorcycle with 14% of all fatal motorcycle accidents occurring in this month. Alternately, January is the safest month with only 3% of fatal motorcycle accidents.

Poor Weather Conditions

It is dangerous to drive a motorcycle in poor weather, including rain and other precipitation.  Interestingly, only 2% of motorcycle accidents happen in the rain. However, this is probably because riders are less likely to ride in the rain or during other severe weather.

Regardless, poor weather conditions are a hazard for any motorist, not just motorcyclists.

Lack of Helmets and Speeding

Over a third of fatal motorcycle accidents are due to speeding. On top of this, another one of the biggest risk factors for motorcyclists is the failure to wear a helmet. 

In total, over 2,000 motorcycle accidents have resulted in fatalities due to the rider not wearing a helmet. Helmets are key to protecting against head injuries, which have a high chance of causing a fatality.