Understanding Motorcycle Accidents

In recent years, the number of motorcycle accidents in the United States has begun to rise. Most likely, the increase began in about 1998. In that year, motorcycle accidents accounted for approximately 937 fatalities, this was an increase of about 11 percent over previous years. This increase in motorcycle accidents has continued, as motorcycle riding has become more and more popular, particularly among riders over the age of 40.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to statistics obtained from the Motorcycle Industry Council, the median income of motorcycle owners has risen from around $25,600 in 1985 to over $55,850 in 2005. The average age of motorcycle riders has also increased from just over 27 years of age in 1985 to over 42 by 2005. The fastest growing groups are women and riders over the age of 50. Female motorcycle riders now account for ten percent of all bikers.

About Motorcyclists in Today’s World

In addition to more, older, and wealthier motorcycle riders, the jobs and lifestyles of bikers have also changed. In 1985, about 23 percent of motorcycle owners were laborers or semiskilled workers, but by 2003, that figure had fallen to less than 7 percent. In contrast, the number of bike owners who are professionals has increased from around 19 percent in 1985 to over 31 percent by 2003.

Motorcycle Accident Lawyers at Millar & Mixon, LLC

At Millar & Mixon, LLC, we support the community of motorcycle riders and we encourage all bikers to be safe. The U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that per mile, motorcycle riders are around 16 times more likely than passenger car occupants to be killed in traffic accidents.

The Hurt Study found that a primary cause of many motorcycle crashes caused by cars and trucks was due to a failure of drivers to see and recognize motorcycles on the road and in traffic.

Other interesting facts that studies reveal about motorcycle accidents:

  • Nearly ¾ of motorcycle accidents involve crashes with a motor vehicle.
  • Approximately two-thirds of all crashes involving cars or trucks and motorcycles are the fault of the car or truck driver.
  • Roadway defects (other than gravel or debris) typically account for less than 5% of motorcycle accidents.
  • One of the most frequent causes of accidents is a motorist turning in front of an on-coming motorcycle.
  • Motor vehicle drivers frequently do not see the motorcycle before the crash, or did not see the bike until it was too late to take evasive action.
  • Many rider deaths and serious injuries occur on rural roads.
  • Around one-half of motorcyclist deaths are related to driving around a curve.
  • Nearly two thirds of motorcycle crash fatalities have been associated with the motorcycle rider speeding.
  • Almost 60% of motorcyclist deaths occur at night.
  • More riders age 40 and over are getting killed.
  • The NHTSA estimates that helmets reduce the likelihood of a fatality by 29%.
  • Studies show that overall, riders wearing helmets are less likely to be involved in a motorcycle crash.
  • If you or a loved one is faced with a motorcycle accident, we want you to know that we understand motorcycle accidents and motorcycle insurance law.