Everybody knows that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. Let’s face it, that is part of the appeal of riding a motorcycle!
In 2010, the federal government estimated that the number of deaths on motorcycles was about 30 times the number of deaths in cars, on a per miles traveled basis. No doubt that these deaths were a function of the number of head injuries, which are more common among motorcyclists than car drivers, which should be fairly obvious. It is estimated that about 37% of deaths could be prevented by wearing a helmet. About 67% of the brain injuries could be prevented as well.
4,300 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2010. However, motorcycle deaths have been declining since the early 1980s until 1998, when they began to rise again through the year 2008. Motorcycle accident deaths account for 13% of all motor vehicle deaths in 2010, which was more than double the statistics from 1997.
When thinking about motorcycle vs car accident statistics, a person would think that car accident deaths would follow the same pattern of increases and decreases, however this is not the case. 22,200 passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes in 2010, which was fewer than any year since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began tallying fatal crash data back in 1975.
Not surprisingly, at least to a motorcycle accident lawyer, 55% of the motorcyclist deaths in 2010 occurred in multi-vehicle crashes. A rider can get thrown off the bike, and suffer some injuries, but usually not death. However when you get a massive vehicle colliding with a motorcycle rider, much or serious results occur.
For years now, the average age of the victim from a motorcycle accident has been on the increase. That is to say, the average age of the cyclists who died in motorcycle accidents was under the age of 30 in the mid-70’s, but now we see that the number of riders over the age of 50 has actually surpassed the number of 30-year-olds, and in fact all other age groups.
90% of motorcyclists killed in 2010 crashes were male; and of the female victims, 65% were passengers. 99% of the males dying on motorcycles in 2010 were the drivers of the cycle.
The engine sizes of the motorcycles involved in a fatal motorcycle accident have gone up drastically 29% of the accidents involved in engine size larger than 1400 cc, compared to only 9% a decade earlier. 83% of touring bikes had engines larger than 1400 cc, while off-road bikes and super sport bikes had engines of sizes 1000 cc or smaller.
The highest percentage of motorcyclist deaths occurred during the peak of the riding season in June July and August. 50% of those motorcyclist deaths occurred on weekends, and were more likely to occur after 6 PM, in comparison to the weekday statistics.
More than half of the motorcycle fatalities in 2010 occurred on major roads, that were not interested or freeways. This is not surprising at all to motorcycle accident attorneys in Pennsylvania. The bigger the road, the busier it is, the more chances of interacting with other motor vehicles.
The statistics for this article came from the insurance Institute for Highway Safety. in future articles, we will look at the statistics of non-fatal motorcycle vs car accident statistics. Until then stay safe.