While the number of motorcyclists killed in motor vehicle crashes declined by 5% in 2018, 4,985 deaths were reported. According to safety experts, motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to suffer fatal injuries than car passengers.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show three out of every four motorcycle crashes involve a collision with another vehicle, and 67% of those were the result of automobile drivers violating the motorcyclist’s right-of-way.
Vital motorcycle crash statistics to remember
The dangers of riding a motorcycle are well documented as bikers are much more vulnerable than those riding around inside a steel cage of sorts. An analysis of the data shows three critical takeaways:
- Alcohol-related crashes account for one out of every three deaths
- 45% of motorcycle crashes result in more than minor injuries
- Wearing a helmet lowers the risk of a head injury by 69% and risk of death by nearly 50%
Motorcyclists make up a disproportionate amount of deaths
Data released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows motorcyclists amount to 14% of all motor vehicle fatalities nationwide despite accounting for only 3% of all registered vehicles. In New Mexico, motorcyclists accounted for 11.7% of all traffic deaths in 2016.
The GHSA statistics show the average age of a person killed in a motorcycle crash is 43, and the majority of those killed are male, although a rise in deaths for female riders has been seen in recent years in several states.
Safety advocates encourage rider education
The largest number of crashes – 40% – take place at busy intersections, and most of those involve drivers violating traffic laws by blocking motorcyclists’ right-of-way, according to federal data. Studies show the majority of accidents happen between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m., including fatal crashes.
Safety advocates urge riders to take courses, such as through the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program. They also urge states to increase age limits for mandatory helmet laws. New Mexico currently only requires those 18 and younger to wear a helmet.