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Motorcyclists face dangers on the roads

On Behalf of | May 14, 2024 | Motorcycle Accidents |

According to the National Safety Council, only 3% of vehicles registered in the United States are motorcycles, and motorcycle travel accounts for only 0.7% of all miles traveled nationwide. But despite their relatively tiny share of motor vehicle traffic, motorcycle riders made up more than 3.5% of the people injured and 15% of the people killed in traffic accidents in 2022.

Look at those statistics again and you may notice something disturbing: The percentage of motorcycle injuries is not wildly out of proportion to the percentage of motorcycles on the road, but the number of motorcycle fatalities is much higher than it should be. One unavoidable conclusion from this discrepancy is that, in the event of an accident, a motorcyclist is much more likely to be killed, when compared to occupants of cars and trucks.

Other statistics back up this conclusion. Looking at 2022 data, the National Safety Council found that the death rate per 100 million miles traveled in passenger vehicles (cars and small trucks) was just over 0.5. For motorcycles, that figure stood higher than 26.


There are several reasons the danger is so much higher for motorcyclists when compared with cars. The main reasons are obvious: Two-wheeled vehicles are inherently less stable than four-wheeled vehicles, and motorcyclists are exposed to the elements in a way that car drivers aren’t. Given these limitations, errors by a motorcyclist and hazards in the roadway can easily lead to an accident, and that accident can easily lead to serious injuries even in situations that wouldn’t even cause a scratch on a car.

For these reasons, responsible motorcyclists ride with caution. Unfortunately, there’s only so much they can do to protect themselves from other drivers who aren’t so careful. Indeed, a significant number of motorcycle accidents are caused by car and truck drivers who fail to see motorcyclists before changing lanes or making a left turn.

Yes, motorcycle riding has inherent risks, but this does not mean motorcycle accidents are always the motorcyclist’s fault. Car and truck drivers have a duty to watch out for motorcycles on the road. When they fail to do so, and they cause an accident as a result, they can be held liable for the injured party’s damages.