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Important motorcycle accident statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks crash statistics to better understand how and why accidents happen. Motorcycles carry some inherent dangers, so it’s good for riders to be aware of these statistics.

Using the stats from 2012 and 2013, the NHTSA put out a comprehensive report. Some of the highlights are listed below.

  • The fatality numbers dropped from 2012 to 2013, falling by 6 percent. In total, they went down from 4,986 deaths in 2012 to 4,668 deaths in 2013.
  • Injury statistics also fell for the same period, dropping by 5 percent. The NHSTA estimates that 93,000 people were hurt during 2012 and that only 88,000 people were hurt during 2013. It’s clear that the injury stats dwarf the fatality stats.
  • While the raw statistics suggest far fewer people are hurt or injured on motorcycles than in cars, the reality is just that people use motorcycles far less. If you break down the deaths per vehicle miles traveled, you’ll see that motorcyclists were killed a stunning 26 times as frequently as those in cars.
  • Helmets do help. The NHTSA claimed that around 1,630 people were saved by helmets in 2013. They also said that 715 people who were killed may have lived if they’d had helmets on at the time.
  • Motorcycles are far more likely to be hit in the front than from behind. The study found that a mere 6 percent of motorcycles were involved in rear-end collisions, while 74 percent were hit in the front. The rest did not perfectly fit either profile.

Motorcycles are fun to ride, but there is an elevated risk of injury or death when another driver causes an accident. It’s important for bikers and their families to know their legal rights.

Source: NHTSA, “Motorcycles,” accessed Oct. 27, 2017