How Dangerous are Motorcycles, Really?


We have compiled the most recent traffic statistics to show you how motorcycles stack up against automobiles in road safety. Even though motorcyclists are involved in fewer accidents each year than car owners, the rates at which motorcyclists are gravely injured in an accident is surprisingly high. Bike owners are also involved in a higher percentage of accidents involving speeding, alcohol and driving with an invalid license. Find out what risks you may be taking before you purchase that new bike.

Motorcycle wreck statistics make for a fascinating read, especially if you actually own a bike. Many injury attorneys in Houston deal with cases related to motorcycle accidents and fatalities. While bikers have a legendary reputation for boldness among the general public, the sensible biker quietly fears for his safety on the roads, as well he should. The statistics below represent only a small amount of the data that indicates just how much danger waits on the road for the average motorcycle rider.

The greatest dangers seem to come from the lack of awareness among drivers of larger vehicles regarding the smaller vehicles they share the road with. Reports attribute most motorcycle wrecks not to malice or inconsiderate disregard in the larger vehicle driver, but to the simple failure to really notice a motorcycle on the road. If you are a motorcycle rider, work up a good healthy dose of fear. A solid amount of caution might just help keep you safer on the roads. The next time you saddle up for a trip on your bike, consider these tidbits:

  • About 70% of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections.
  • In almost two thirds of motorcycle collisions with another vehicle, it was the other vehicle that violated the motorcyclist’s right of way.
  • Bikers die from accidents at about 37 times the rate of the occupants of all other vehicles.
  • Approximately 80% of collisions injure or kill a motorcyclist, but only about 20% injure or kill occupants of all other cars.
  • In 2009, bikers accounted for 13% of fatal accidents, but only for 3% of registered vehicles on the roads.
  • A large proportion of motorcycle accidents involve riders who have had their bikes for less than a month.
  • Single vehicle accidents represent approximately half of motorcycle wrecks.

Infographic: Motorcycle Accidents

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

4 thoughts on “How Dangerous are Motorcycles, Really?”

  1. In my travels I am dumbfounded by the number of bike riders who are dressed with no gear from ankle to head, so those stats don’t surprise me. Would be interesting to see accident stats that break down riders wearing gear from those who do not

  2. These stats are completely believable but like anything else you can make them show just about anything you want. And, like Garth, am not surprised at all by the stats either….

  3. If we take into account several key facts, these statistics make sense. Think for just a moment in a body hurled at high speed at a solid object with many angles and places where a body can get stuck and with a mass at least 30 times greater, that can either hit or run over the body and the surprising fact is that so many of us survive unharmed.
    We as motorcyclist must be aware that we are engaged in an inherently dangerous activity, even if we ride only in deserted places. Therefore, we are left with the task of deciding how to deal with this situation, trying to improve the odds of surviving as much as possible, never fooling ourselves by thinking that what we wear is the deciding factor. I would say that honing our riding skills and riding defensively, always thinking that we are invisible to other people sharing the road with us (even if they are fellow motorcyclists) will beat any protective riding gear any day and twice on Sundays. One of my daughters is about to become a Medical Doctor and has seen enough mangled bodies of motorcyclists to know that given certain conditions, people die or get serious injuries even if wearing a full-body armor.

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