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Motorcycle Safety at All-Time Low

Motorcycles give riders endless hours of enjoyment on America's roads. But they are also dangerous. Motorcycle enthusiasts need to know the risks, understand safe and defensive motorcycle operations, and know how to respond when an accident occurs.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents and motorcycle-related injuries are at an all-time high. According to the National Safety Council:[1]

"Although motorcycles make up only 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities."

The NSC goes on to cite concerning statistics like the following:

  • Over the last ten years, motorcycle-related deaths increased by 20%.
  • Approximately 5,579 people die in motorcycle-related accidents every year.
  • 2020 was the worst year yet for motorcycle fatalities, reflecting an 11% increase from 2019.
  • The injury rate for motorcycle-related accidents is also up, reflecting a 10% increase over 2019.
  • Most motorcycle accidents occur on urban roads, in good weather, and with riders who wear helmets.

That last statistic is especially important. Many people previously believed that motorcycle accidents occurred among people who rode on rural highways, in poor weather, and without wearing helmets. Actually, most crashes occur on urban roads, in good weather, in daylight, with riders who are not alcohol-impaired and who are wearing their helmets. That means there are other causes for the increase in motorcycle accidents, like distracted driving, other drivers texting while driving, and drivers not looking for motorcycles when turning, changing lanes, or moving through intersections.

Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents

The Ohio Traffic Safety Bulletin for 2021 reported that, in 2020, 3,982 motorcycle-related crashes occurred in Ohio, representing an 11% increase in crashes over 2019. 205 crashes resulted in 212 deaths among motorcyclists and their passengers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has published guidelines on how people can enjoy motorcycles safely and avoid accidents. Quoting their briefing:[2]

"Experienced riders know local traffic laws – and they don't take risks. Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles; and always check behind you and signal before you change lanes."

What is a No Contact Motorcycle Accident?

A no-contact motorcycle accident involves an accident in which a motorcyclist must swerve to avoid contact with a car, and the motorcyclist crashes or lays the bike down as a result. In such cases, the driver that the motorcyclist had to avoid likely committed a negligent act. Such an act could be changing lanes, accelerating, turning, or braking without looking for and noticing the motorcycle. When a driver acts in this way, that causes the motorcyclist to swerve to avoid an accident. In this case, the car driver could be held liable. If such an accident happened to you or a loved one, please call NRS Injury Law today at 855.977.6670.


[1] NSC. "Motorcycles." National Safety Council, 2022.

[2] NHTSA. "Motorcycle Safety." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2021.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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