The Reality of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents are among the most dangerous and devastating of all motor vehicle accidents. Here are a few statistics about motorcycle crashes and how they impact victims.

  • According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2018, there were 4,985 motorcycle riders or drivers who were killed in crashes. This is a decrease of about five percent from 2017, when 5,229 motorcyclists died, although it is an increase of 12 percent from the 2009 figure.
  • In 2018, 82,000 motorcyclists were injured in crashes. This represents an eight percent decrease from 2017 when about 89,000 motorcyclists were injured.
  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in crashes than the occupants of passenger vehicles when considering road miles traveled.
  • About 28 percent of all motorcycle fatalities involved a non-motorcycle-licensed driver. Many states, including Alaska, require motorcycle operators to have a special license.  In Alaska, you must be at least 16 years old and take a standardized road test before getting an M1, M2, or M3 classification to ride on public roads.
  • Motorcycle riders involved in crashes are slightly more likely to be legally intoxicated than other drivers or passengers, with 25 percent of all fatal crashes involving alcohol for motorcycle riders and 21 percent for passenger vehicles. That number increases to 39 percent for single-vehicle fatal motorcycle crashes.
  • Helmets are estimated to have saved at least 1,872 lives in 2017, and the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates at least 749 more lives could have been saved that year if helmets had been in use. In Alaska, 45 percent of motorcycle fatality victims were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
  • About ten percent of motorcycle fatalities occur on interstate highways; about 30 percent occur on non-interstate arterial or major roads; about 23 percent occur on minor arterial roads; about 18 percent on collector roads; and about 14 percent on local roads. The other fatal crashes occur on roads that are unclassified as interstate, arterial, or local.
  • Motorcycle fatalities disproportionately impact young people and older people. Of the 4,985 motorcycle fatalities in 2018, 1,372 were people under 30, and 1,829 were people over 50.

It is clear from these statistics that there are several things that motorcycle riders can do to stay safer on the roads, primarily wearing a helmet and not drinking and driving.  However, the fact remains that motorcycle riders are far more likely to the victim of a fatal crash than truck or car drivers, often through no fault of their own.  This means that many motorcycle accident victims are truly victims of someone else’s negligence.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, or if you have lost a loved one through the negligence of someone else in a motorcycle accident, do not hesitate to call Barber & Associates.  We have been representing Alaska motorcycle accident victims for years and we understand how to protect your rights and help you recover compensation for your injuries and losses.  Call us today to find out how we can help.

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