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Fatality rates are down, but motorcycles are still dangerous

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

There have been alarming news regarding the 50% increase in the number of pedestrian deaths here in the United States in the last decade. So it is always nice to pass along some good news – motorcycle fatalities were down in 2018 (the most recent year of comprehensive data). Nonetheless, those who enjoy the thrill of going for a ride on their bike or hog should note that there is still plenty of sobering data.

Facts worth noting for bikers

Here is a collection of some of the most noteworthy motorcycle statistics compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA):

  • Fatalities down: There were 4,985 motorcyclist deaths in 2018, which is down by 4.7%.
  • Helmets save lives: The GHSA estimates that 1,872 lives were saved by using helmets, and another 749 would have been saved if riders had used a helmet.
  • Impaired riding is risky: 28% of riders involved in fatal crashes had a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher.
  • Speed kills: 32% of riders in fatal crashes were speeding.
  • Speed kills 2: Those riding fast high-performance bikes are four times more likely to die in a crash than other bikers.
  • Higher fatality rates: Bikers are 27-times more likely to die in an accident than those in cars or trucks.

Rider error a major issue

Bikers must be extremely careful on the roads when it comes to encounters with other drivers. While drivers in cars and trucks cause 75% of all motorcycle crashes, rider error is a significant contributor to crashes:

  • Fixed objects: 25% of motorcycle deaths involve the rider hitting a fixed object.
  • One-vehicle crashes: 30% of motorcycle accidents involve no other vehicle, which is a third higher than drivers in cars.
  • Poor judgment: 66% of motorcycle accidents are due to rider error like over-braking or taking a turn too fast.

Rates must continue to go down

Injuries and fatalities are an unfortunate part of driving on the roads. Nevertheless, bikers and drivers in cars and trucks should still strive to be more careful on the road. This involves good driving habits, including not driving while distracted. Those not paying attention or exercising poor judgment may be liable for damages, medical expenses, lost wages, or a wrongful death claim. Those with questions about a crash should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who handles these types of motorcycle cases.