Riding a motorcycle is fun and exhilarating, but motorcycle accidents are inherently more dangerous than car accidents for drivers and occupants.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash in 2019 and were four times more likely to be injured. Safe motorcycling is very attainable, but it takes coordination, practice, balance, and good judgment.
Here’s how car and motorcycle accidents compare and how you can stay safe on the road.
National Accident Rates
The NHTSA estimates that nearly 13 cars out of every 100,000 are involved in a fatal accident, but motorcycles have a fatality rate closer to 72. This puts motorcyclists at a greater risk of a fatal accident per miles traveled.
- Motorcycles – According to the most recent information from the Insurance Information Institute (III), 5,014 people were killed in motorcycle accidents in 2019. That statistic saw a slight decrease from the previous year, but riders are still overrepresented in traffic fatalities.
- Cars – 2019 saw 36,096 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes. Fortunately, this data represents a two percent decrease from the previous year. NHTSA Deputy Administrator, James Owens, stated, “We are encouraged by the 2019 FARS data, which shows that fewer lives were lost on our nation’s roads than the year before, a trend for three years now even while economic growth was increasing.”
Motorcycle Accident Injuries
When considering the safety characteristics of cars and motorcycles, injuries are an important factor. Since motorcycle riders are not protected by a barrier of steel and are typically thrown from the bike during a collision, these accidents are inherently more life-threatening. Here are some common injuries associated with motorcycle accidents:
- Brain injuries
- Road rash
- Spinal injuries
- Fractures and broken bones
- Injuries to internal organs
- Internal bleeding
Motorcycle Safety Tips for Riders
Driving a car and riding a motorcycle require different skills, so we urge you to be prepared. Here are a few tips to encourage motorcycle safety:
- Make sure you are properly licensed in your state
- Practice operating your motorcycle
- Always drive sober
- Check your motorcycle’s tire pressure, tread depth, hand and foot brakes, headlights, signal indicators, and fluid level before you ride
- Always wear a helmet that meets the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard
- Ride with the flow of traffic
- Obey all traffic laws, lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings
- Proceed cautiously at intersections and yield to pedestrians
- Increase your visibility by applying reflective materials to your bike and keeping your headlights on
Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Is Here for You After an Accident
Riding a motorcycle comes with its own handful of risks. If you find yourself in a motorcycle accident, reach out to the experienced attorneys at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton to review the best course of action. We’ll review your case, give you exceptional legal advice, and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
We serve Utah residents and have offices in Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.