According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 5,579 motorcycle-vehicle fatalities in 2016. Sixty-six percent of these collisions involved a motor vehicle that struck the motorcycle. The most common scenario is when another car turns left into the path of a motorcycle. The report also shows that speeding was a factor in nearly one-quarter of motorcycle fatalities.
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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 80 percent of people involved in motorcycle accidents will suffer from injuries or fatalities. Moreover, motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in a crash than those in a car, and they account for up to 17 percent of motor vehicle deaths. These statistics are staggering, considering that motorcycles make up only 3 percent of the registered vehicles on our roads.
Alcohol is one of the leading risk factors in motorcycle accidents. Studies have shown that over 32% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve alcohol. Alcohol accounts for one-third of all fatal crashes in which the motorcyclist was impaired. According to the Hurt Report, a motorcyclist’s risk of being involved in a fatal crash double for each unit of alcohol in their blood. In addition, riders with a BAC of 0.03% or higher have a 20-fold higher risk of death than those with a BAC of 0.08%.
According to a recent study, the majority of motorcycle accidents occurred on non-interstate highways. This is not surprising because motorcycles are often ridden for pleasure, which is one reason why they tend to use non-interstate roadways. Non-interstate roadways often have higher speed limits than interstate highways, and they are more likely to have potholes and heavy traffic.
A study of fatal motorcycle accidents by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reveals that the vast majority of collisions involved unlicensed drivers. The study examined Police-reported crashes over five years. While accidents involving unlicensed drivers are still a significant issue, other factors can play a role as well. For example, a motorcycle’s frontal surfaces are the first thing that other vehicles see in a collision. Another factor that can contribute to a motorcycle’s conspicuity is whether it’s equipped with fairings or windshields. In addition, motorcycles equipped with fairings and windshields are less likely to be involved in accidents. These features are also associated with safer, more experienced riders. In addition, motorcycles without licenses and other modifications are overrepresented in motorcycle collisions.
In the United States, most fatalities in motorcycle accidents involve collisions with fixed objects. These include traffic barriers, utility poles, and trees. Most of these crashes occur during nighttime hours. In addition, alcohol is a common contributing factor.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, alcohol is one of the leading causes of fatal motorcycle accidents. Nearly one-third of the motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2018 were alcohol-impaired drivers. Among those riders who had a BAC of 0.08 percent or more, about half were older than 40. While it is hard to imagine someone getting behind the wheel of a motorcycle while intoxicated, it does happen.