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Motorcycle Accident Statistics

person riding a motorcycle on a highway

Nearly 5,000 Motorcyclists Lose Their Lives Every Year

In 2018, a total of 4,985 motorcyclists died as a result of tragic motorcycle accidents across the United States. Even those who survived their crashes suffered serious injuries. While the statistics are grim, they can offer insight into the causes of motorcycle accidents and give us tangible ways to prevent more serious injuries and deaths in the future.

Single vs. Multi-Vehicle Crashes

The majority (63%) of motorcycle accidents are multi-vehicle crashes. One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents is drivers who forget to check their blind spots or otherwise make unsafe turns or lane changes.

Some single-vehicle motorcycle accidents are also triggered by unsafe road conditions or defective motorcycles or motorcycle parts.


One of the easiest ways to protect yourself in a motorcycle accident is to wear a helmet. Helmets can reduce the risk of death by 37 to 42%, and unhelmeted motorcyclists are 3 times more likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a helpful guide for choosing the right helmet, which you can access here.

Motorcycle Types

Some motorcycles are more dangerous than others. A study from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) found that the driver death rate for supersport motorcycles is about 4 times higher than the death rate for motorcyclists who ride cruisers or standard bikes.

The fatal crash rate is also 31% lower for motorcycles equipped with antilock braking systems.

Where to Ride

Sixty percent of motorcycle fatalities happen in urban areas, and most of them (53%) happen on “non-interstate major roads.” As such, you should try to ride in less populated areas and avoid major roads. Taking the freeway to a quieter part of town may be a better option than riding in a busy neighborhood. Some motorcyclists enjoy riding on forest service roads and other scenic streets.

Safest Times to Ride

Most years, motorcycle fatalities peak in June and are lowest in December. While you should not ride your motorcycle in adverse weather conditions, data suggests winter rides may be slightly safer. Fatal motorcycle crashes are also more common on weekends, particularly after 6 p.m. During the week, the evening rush hour (3 p.m. to 6 p.m.) is the most dangerous time for motorcyclists.


Part of the reason why evening accidents are so common is alcohol involvement. In 2018, 26% of fatally injured motorcycle drivers had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at or above the legal limit of 0.08%, and 56% of the motorcycle drivers killed at night were above the legal limit.

Never ride a motorcycle while you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and if you see another driver or motorcyclist driving drunk, pull over and dial 911.

Our Thoughts

At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, we truly believe even a single fatal motorcycle accident is one too many. We also understand that many motorcyclists are injured or killed while driving safely and adhering to all rules of the road.

If someone else’s negligence causes you to be seriously injured or bereaved by a motorcycle accident, call Attorney Gueli for a free consultation. Our legal team is available 24/7 at (516) 628-6402 and online.

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