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Motorcycle Accident Facts

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


Motorcycle Accident Facts

Jason Epstein
May 26, 2010

Jason Epstein

Motorcycle accidents, as any personal injury attorney lawyer will tell you, are usually deadlier than car accidents. Whereas a car can help shield a motorist from injuries, the only protection a motorcycle rider really only has a safety helmet – if he or she is in fact wearing one – to prevent serious injury.

I've seen my share of tragedy that comes as a result of riding the roads on two wheels instead of four. I’d like to share some somber statistics on motorcycle accidents and caution bikers to be extra cautious when traveling.

• The number of motorcycle accidents increases regularly year-to-year in the U.S.

• Motorcycle deaths are 30 times as great as for those who drive automobiles

• Motorcycle riders under 40 are 36 more times as likely to be in an accident fatality than other drivers who are the same age

• Motorcycle riders over 40 are around 20 times more likely to be in an accident fatality than other drivers who are the same age

• Motorcycle fatalities make up about 5 percent of all highway deaths, but motorcycles represent only 2 percent of all registered vehicles in the U.S.

• Approximately 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in personal injury or death. Car accidents? Only 20 percent.

• Most motorcycle accidents are caused by the simple fact that other vehicles fail to see them

• Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents

• 92% of motorcycle users involved in accidents have no safety or riding training; instead they learned on their own or from friends. Motorcycle rider safety training has been shown to significantly reduce personal injury and wrongful death in traffic mishaps.

• The typical motorcycle accident allows the operator only 2 seconds to take action to avoid a harmful collision

• In 73% of all motorcycle accidents, the rider is not using any eye protection (safety goggles, for example) and diminished vision resulting from wind delays critical reaction time to danger

• The use of a safety helmet did not cause any significant failure to hear traffic noises or create a limited field of vision that contributed to a motorcycle accident

• Riders and passengers using helmets suffered significantly lower head and neck injuries.

These statistics clearly show that motorcycle usage can be significantly more dangerous than driving a car. They also clearly show that taking the right safety steps, such as wearing a helmet, having eye protection and getting some professional motorcycle safety training, can help bikers travel much more safely.

If you or someone you know regularly travels by motorcycle, I urge you to share these facts with them and possibly save them from a motorcycle accident that could result in personal injury or even wrongful death.

Jason Epstein is the founder of Straight Talk Law. For more free “Straight Talk Law” information, please visit the website at http://www.straighttalklaw.com where you can order free books on personal injury lawyers, Washington auto accidents, auto insurance and other valuable legal information, offered as a public service by Jason and his law practice in Seattle, Washington.

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