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  • Writer's pictureTom Fowler

What Percentage of Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents?

They say that the joy of riding a motorcycle is an unrivaled experience — there is nothing quite like hitting the road on a two-wheeler. Still, it seems that motorcyclists are not as safe in traffic as drivers and passengers of other vehicles. But why is that so, and what percentage of motorcycle riders get in accidents every year?

How Many Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents a Year?

How Many Motorcycle Riders Get in Accidents a Year?

Based on the most recent data from 2019, there are 8.6 million motorcycles registered in the US alone. Although this is much lower than the number of other vehicles (263.8 million), motorcycles are involved in numerous accidents every year. Thus, two-wheelers are to blame for as much as 14% of all road fatalities. At the same time, they account for 17% of passenger deaths and are responsible for 3% of total traffic injuries.

The annual number of motorcycle accidents in America is around 89,000. Given the number of registered motorcycles, it appears that about 1% of them get in accidents every year. While this percentage may not sound like much, there are also many unreported cases that end up dodging annual statistics.

Furthermore, the number of motorcycle accident fatalities per year is not negligible either. In 2019, for example, 5,014 motorcycle riders lost their lives on US roads. But what is it about these vehicles that makes them unsafe for so many people every year?

Why Are Motorcycle Accidents So Common in America?

The reason there are so many motorcycle accidents has to do with the nature of these vehicles. First, unlike cars, motorcycles are much less stable. To ride this vehicle, one needs to control both its speed and balance. Second, two-wheelers are generally much faster than cars. For that reason, they often end up noticed only when it is too late — when the accident can no longer be avoided.

More importantly, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable drivers as they are also the most exposed ones. Except for helmets, they rarely have anything that would prevent their bodies from getting injured in traffic. But protective gear seems to reduce the risk of fatal cases by 37%. In 2016, for instance, helmets saved 1,859 lives.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

As it turns out, many traffic accidents that involve motorcycles happen due to riders' inexperience. Unskilled motorcyclists seem less likely to respond adequately to all kinds of situations happening on the road. Thus, their inability to properly control their vehicles often results in accidents. For instance, 29% of motorcycle casualties in 2017 involved motorcyclists without a valid license.

Furthermore, many accidents also happen as a result of people driving under the influence. In 2018, this accounted for 26% of multiple-vehicle crash fatalities and 40% of single-vehicle motorcycle accident casualties. Other reasons why motorcycle accidents are so common have to do with speeding and inattentive driving.

How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in Iowa?

According to the data provided by Iowa State University Institute for Transportation, since 2016, there have been around 5,700 motorcycle accidents in this state. It is important to note that more than 5.3% of these crashes resulted in motorcyclists getting killed. And even when there were no casualties, the victims still suffered numerous significant injuries.

For further details, you can read our article about what type of motorcycles have the most accidents.

How Can Riders Reduce the Risk of Motorcycle Crashes?

Although the provided numbers are not quite optimistic, there are some ways in which motorcyclists can prevent future accidents. First, a rider should always watch for potential hazards, never looking away from the road. They should also avoid sharing a lane with other vehicles and riding between active traffic. Most importantly, a motorcyclist should never speed — let alone drink and drive — as these are some of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents.

Final Remarks

Riding motorcycles down US roads is nowhere near as safe as it might appear. Every year, there are more than 89,000 motorcycle crashes in America. Given the total number of two-wheelers registered in the States, about 1% of them end up in accidents every year. There have been 5,700 motorcycle crashes in the last five years in Iowa alone.

With that in mind, motorcycles need to become more attentive on the road. Learning about the most common causes of motorcycle accidents might help them avoid making the same mistakes. As a result, this can reduce the number of riders injured or killed in two-wheeler crashes.

When it comes to handling and winning motorcycle accidents, seek the assistance of the best motorcycle accident lawyers in Des Moines IA.


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