Sunny skies and mild weather make everyone want to get out, including motorcyclists. The average biker doesn’t want to get out on the roads when they are wet or the weather is cold, although some people will ride all year in Pennsylvania.
Late spring is often when many enthusiasts start getting their motorcycles out of storage and getting them ready for riding season. Drivers in other vehicles may not yet be back in the habit of checking the roads for motorcycles and bicycles, which means the risk of a crash caused by driver inattention can be higher early in the riding season.
Whether you personally have a motorcycle or just have a loved one who enjoys riding, you are likely acutely aware that motorcycles come with a lot more risks than larger enclosed vehicles. In fact, motorcycles disproportionately contribute to the number of traffic fatalities every year.
How many people get hurt or die on motorcycles?
In 2018, the most recent year with an analysis available, there were 4,985 motorcycle crash deaths across the United States. On its own, that would be worrisome, but when you combine nearly 5,000 deaths with roughly 82,000 serious injuries, the risks are unignorable.
Without only 8,666,185 motorcycles registered nationwide, that means there are 57.52 fatalities and 944 injuries suffered annually per 100,000 motorcycles on the American roads.
How does that compare to other crashes?
According to federal crash data for 2019, about 38,8000 people died in motor vehicle collisions in total. Although motorcycles represent only a tiny portion of the total registered vehicles in the United States, they contribute to a significant number (roughly 13%) of crash fatalities and injuries.
The risks are partly due to the lack of protection for motorcycle drivers in the case of a crash, as well as driving behaviors. Both motorcyclists and other drivers can contribute to the risk of a collision with negligent or unsafe behavior. Motorcyclists can help protect themselves with defensive driving techniques and good protective gear.
Knowledge about your rights can also be important because you may need to stand up for yourself by taking legal action against a driver who causes a motorcycle crash and leaves you or someone you love seriously hurt.