Although motorcycles make up only 3% of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for 14% of fatal accidents.
One common cause of motorcycle crashes is inattentive drivers who fail to see the smaller vehicles on the road. Accidents at intersections are also hazardous for motorcyclists.
According to motorcycle accident fatality statistics, young people ages 15-24 have the highest risk of motorcycle crashes and severe injuries. Their lack of experience, sense of excitement, and false self-confidence in driving a motorcycle leads to reckless behavior and bad decisions that end in terrible crashes.
Older age groups are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Still, they have less agility and are more vulnerable to direct impacts and collisions with vehicles and other motorcycles. In addition, they have a decreased level of flexibility, bone density, and muscularity that contributes to the fragility of their bodies in the event of a crash.
In a study that examined three years of NC data, crash-involved motorcyclists ages 35+ were more likely than those in the two younger age groups to experience single-vehicle crashes on higher-speed roadways (US and state routes). Additionally, four out of five of their crashes occurred in rural locations during daylight hours.
In 2019, almost one-fifth of motorcycle accidents resulted in fatalities. In addition to excessive speed, lack of protective gear, and other rider risk factors, coroners and medical examiners also reported the consumption of alcohol or drugs in 56% of investigated motorcycle accidents.
People over 50 are more susceptible to severe injuries in a crash due to poor flexibility, bone density, and muscularity. They also have slower reaction times and weaker grips on motorcycle handles.
Injured motorcyclists tend to have longer hospital stays, more complex injuries, and higher injury severity scores than injured car occupants and bicyclists. They are also more likely to suffer from multiple traumas, including those to the head, chest, thorax, and arms. They are also less likely to return to work and education after injury. This is because of their lower ability to heal due to reduced regenerative capacity and impaired clotting capabilities. In addition, they have a greater propensity to smoke and have poorer pre-crash health and financial status.
Studies have shown that motorcyclists are more likely to experience serious injuries or fatalities at intersections compared to other areas of the road. This may be because drivers are more careless or heedless in their driving habits in these areas and are less apt to watch for motorcyclists on the road.
This makes intersections the most hazardous for these riders, especially when motorists fail to signal or run red lights. T-bone accidents are also more common at these locations, which can result in severe or deadly injuries for motorcyclists.
Coroners and medical examiners have also reported that alcohol, cannabis, and other drugs are frequently consumed before motorcycle collisions that result in fatalities. This is especially true when the accidents occur at night between 6:00 p.m. on Friday and 5:59 a.m. on Monday (56% of these fatalities). Those more vulnerable to right-angle crashes at intersections include those with full licenses, those without them, and those riding passenger vehicles with passengers.
Motorcycles offer a unique way to enjoy the outdoors and open roads but pose a significant risk for riders. They are far less crash-worthy than closed vehicles because they lack protective features like crumple zones and airbags. The lack of safety equipment leaves motorcyclists vulnerable to severe injury and death in accidents, especially when hit by large vehicles.
The most common injuries in motorcycle accidents are leg and foot injuries. These injuries account for 30 percent of all ER visits by motorcyclists. These injuries can be very serious but don’t always lead to death.
Motorcyclists can’t control other people’s behaviors on the road, but they can control their own. They should never ride under the influence, and they should wear a helmet at all times. They should also pay attention to other drivers’ behavior, especially if they are following a motorcycle. It is important to check road conditions before riding a motorcycle, and it’s best to avoid busy roads during rush hour.