• Apr
    Posted in:
    Posted by: Jarve Kaplan Granato Starr

    Are Motorcycle Accidents More Common than Car Accidents?

    Facts and Statistics About Motorcycle Accidents

    Your view of motorcycle safety probably depends upon where you sit. If you are a motorist who only drives a car or truck, you probably think of motorcycles as inherently unsafe, and you may think of those who ride them as reckless. On the other hand, as a biker, you may feel that you are careful and responsible and that it is car drivers who are a menace on the road.  Which is true? Are motorcycle accidents more common than car accidents?

    The truth is that statistically speaking, the truth lies somewhere in between the two. Motorcyclists are automatically in greater danger when an accident occurs, as they have much less protection in a collision, so learning that the fatality rate for bikers involved in accidents of any kind is higher than for automobile drivers comes as no surprise. That statistic, provided by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows that 13.10 cars out of 100,000 ended up in a fatal crash compared to 72.34 per 100,000 among registered motorcycles. The same high fatality rate is true when measured per unit of distance traveled, with motorcyclists’ risk of a fatality 35 times greater than is true of passengers riding in an automobile.  But a deeper dive into those statistics provides an eye-opening level of understanding for how those accidents happen, and where the source of the danger derives from.

    According to a study conducted at the University of Southern California, the causal factor in motorcycle accidents is not biker carelessness or reckless driving: rather, it is a problem with the drivers of passenger automobiles. The study showed that roughly 75% of motorcycle accidents involved another vehicle, which was most frequently a car, and that in the majority of those incidents the crash was caused by violations on the part of the automobile driver. Car drivers have a tendency to impede on motorcyclists’ right of way, and it is their carelessness that is to blame for a large percentage of motorcyclist deaths.

    There is no question that motorcyclists are put at risk by the lack of a structure to protect their bodies in the event of an accident. But only 25% of fatal bike accidents were single motorcycle accidents that could be blamed on the motorcycle operator.

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