·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

News & Politics

5 Shocking Motorcycle Accident Statistics

— April 15, 2020

All things considered, motorcycle crashes can happen for unexpected reasons. It is important to be careful while you’re riding and put safety first.

Driving a motorcycle, especially in very busy and packed cities, can be very dangerous. These types of crashes happen more often than we would like to admit and some of the reasons why may be surprising. Here we reveal five shocking statistics about motorcycle crashes that will hopefully make you more mindful next time you hop on your bike.

Most fatal crashes occur in broad daylight

Many people assume that most of the motorcycle accidents occur at night when it’s dark outside or during sunrise or sunset. However, that is not the case. Contrary to popular belief, most motorcycle crashes actually tend to happen in broad daylight and mostly between the hours of 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Also, only 3% of all the accidents happen due to inclement weather. Believe it or not, most of these accidents happen when it’s clear and in full daylight. 

Visibility is crucial. What happens most of the time is that car drivers miss smaller motorcycle blind spots or when they are approaching them around the side of other vehicles. So, if you are driving a motorcycle on a daily basis, make sure to be very cautious and always make yourself as visible as possible by using headlights and bright colors. Lastly, make sure you slow down when you are approaching intersections. 

Only 33% of the drivers in fatal motorcycle crashes were speeding

Another “myth” about motorcycle accidents has to do with speed. Contrary to what many people might think, speed is not one of the bigger factors of fatal motorcycle accidents. Other factors such as road conditions and other drivers not seeing motorcycles are actually far more impactful. 

The scenario that is most common is when another driver is making a left turn and fails to see the motorcycle in an oncoming lane. For example, if you are at a four-way intersection and the line on the opposite side of you is waiting for the green light, you won’t always be able to see a motorcycle coming in the lane next to that line on the opposite side. And, if vehicles such as taller SUVs, trucks, and vans are standing in your way, you won’t even see the motorcycle before it’s already in the intersection. 

Around half of fatal motorcycle crashes involve drivers aged 40 or older

People are led to believe that motorcycle accidents often happen to younger people because of their lack of experience. However, it has been shown in 2015 that the average age of the motorcyclist involved in fatal crashes was 42. In fact, over 2,000 riders at the age of 40 and older suffer fatal injuries in motorcycle accidents. 

Some of the factors that cause these crashes are changes to balance, bad hearing, muscle strength, and vision problems. All of these factors may significantly increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. Accidents like these can especially be fatal for older people and fractures are more likely to happen. Also, there is always a bigger risk of other complications and slower recovery. Lastly, it could be very useful to get well informed about obtaining a personal injury claim if an accident does occur.

Two men sitting on parked motorcycles; image by Harley-Davidson, via
Two men sitting on parked motorcycles; image by Harley-Davidson, via

An average of 4 out of 10 motorcycle riders do not wear a DOT-compliant helmet

Many studies have shown that helmets can prevent fatalities during a motorcycle accident. However, only 61% of drivers actually listen to this advice and wear a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet. In fact, wearing a helmet could save a life. On average, 37 out of every 100 victims would have survived if they had worn a motorcycle helmet. 

When it comes to the law, there are definitely some mixed signals there. Even though helmets are proven to be very important for safety in traffic, only 19 states have laws which mandate helmet use. And, in 28 states, helmets are required for those who are 18 and younger. In states like Iowa, New Hampshire, Illinois and Idaho helmets are not required for all riders. Generally speaking, laws concerning motorcycle accidents can be very tricky which is why consulting a professional motorcycle accident attorney is always recommended.

The highest percentage of fatal crashes occur when the engine size is 500 to 1,000cc

Lastly, 4 out of 10 motorcycle accidents happen on motorcycles with a 500 to 1,000cc engine. The main reason why they are so popular is because of their lighter weight and the power they provide. Also, they are easier to maneuver for beginners. And, they have less room for surprise errors in case you accidentally twist the throttle. 


All things considered, motorcycle crashes can happen for unexpected reasons. It is important to be careful while you’re riding and put safety first. That is why wearing a helmet should be your number one priority, as well as being alert and not using your phone or driving while tired. These facts and tips are very crucial for all motorcyclists; they could save a life. 

Join the conversation!