Motorcycle Accident Statistics
We’ve compiled these motorcycle statistics on accidents, crashes, helmet usage, and fatalities because we advocate biker safety. We also believe in the freedom of bikers all over the United States of America, but never at the risk of your life or the life of another.
Bikers, you don’t need us to tell you how dangerous it is on the open road – distracted car drivers, big trucks that take up more than their share, and much more.
To avoid life-threatening motorcycle crashes, become familiar with our latest motorcycle accident statistics. The more prepared you are when you take to the road, the better your chance of avoiding serious injury or even death caused by a motorcycle wreck.
Please note that some 2011 and most 2012 national and Pennsylvania motorcycle accident statistics have not yet been released. Check back frequently for updated stats and facts on crashes involving bikes and motorcycle collisions.
Looking for more statistics? View our accident statistics page.
2011 Pennsylvania & National Motorcycle Accident Statistics
- Preliminary data for the first nine months of 2011 showed that motorcycle accident fatalities remained about the same as 2010 — 4,500 deaths. Of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, 23 states saw a decrease in motorcycle accident fatalities, while 26 states and D.C. saw an increase.
- Motorcycle crashes decreased 9.4 percent from 2010 while fatal motorcycle crashes decreased 6.5 percent in Pennsylvania in 2011.
- There were 3,746 crashes involving motorcycles in Pennsylvania in 2011.
- 52 motorcycle accidents occurred in Pennsylvania work zones in 2011.
- 655 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania involved a motorcycle hitting a fixed-object.
- In these crashes, 199 people died.
- 8.5 percent of all motorcycle crashes in Pennsylvania in 2011 were alcohol-related.
2010 Pennsylvania & National Motorcycle Statistics
- In 2010, 4,502 people were killed nationally in accidents involving motorcycles. That was an increase from 2009 (4,469). There was a decrease in the number of people injured in accidents involving motorcycles – 82,000, down from 90,000 in 2009.
- The number of motorcycle accident injuries in Pennsylvania rose to 3,930.
- There were 223 motorcycle accident deaths in 2010.
- Of the 4,099 motorcycle drivers who were in crashes in 2010, 442 of them (10.8%) were drinking drivers.
- Of the 223 deaths in motorcycle accidents, 202 were drivers and 21 were passengers.
2009 Motorcycle Statistics
- There were 4,469 fatal crashes involving motorcycles across the United States in 2009. Approximately 90,000 were injured.
- The use of motorcycle helmets approved by the Department of Transportation (DOT) decreased to 54 percent in 2010 from 67 percent in 2009, according to a National Occupant Protection Use Survey conducted by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41 percent for motorcycle passengers. The NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,483 motorcyclists in 2009.
- In Pennsylvania, there were 3,736 motorcycle crashes. Nearly 200 (195) of them were fatal.
- There were 204 motorcyclist deaths in 2009 in PA, and 3,677 were injured.
- In Pennsylvania in 2009, the number of motorcycle crashes decreased by 10.9 percent, while fatal crashes decreased 15.6 percent from 2008.
- Of the 204 motorcycle deaths in PA, 184 (90.2 percent) were drivers, and 20 (9.8 percent) were passengers.
- Of the 3,736 crashes in PA, 712 crashes involved motorcycles hitting fixed objects.
- Nearly half (48 percent) of the motorcycle accident-related deaths in Pennsylvania in 2009 were caused when drivers or passengers didn’t wear helmets.
- More than one-third of fatal motorcycle crashes in the U.S. in 2009 involved drivers with a BAC of .01 or higher. Nearly 30 percent had a BAC of .08 or higher (above the legal limit).
2008 National Statistics
- In 2008, 5,290 bikers were killed – an increase of 2% from 2007.
- 59% of the bikers killed in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
- Of the motorcycle operators killed in 2008, 30% had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- There were 96,000 bikers injured during 2008.
- In 2008, motorcycle riders accounted for 14% of total traffic fatalities, 17% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupants injured.
- 35% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes in 2008 were speeding.
- In 2008, 2,554 (47%) of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of moving vehicle.
- Per vehicle mile traveled, bikers are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash and 9 times more likely to be injured.
- In 2008, 25% of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with fixed objects, compared to 19% for cars, 14% for light trucks, and 4% for heavy trucks.
- One out of four motorcycle riders in fatal crashes in 2008 were riding their vehicles with an invalid license.
- Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders and 41% for motorcycle passengers.
- During 2008, 346 young motorcycle riders (age 15-20) were killed and an additional 8,000 were injured.
- 35% of the bikers between 15 and 20 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
- Of the young motorcycle operators (ages 15-20) involved in fatal crashes in 2008, more than one-third (43%) were either unlicensed or driving with an invalid license.
- In 2008, 26% of the young male motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes had been drinking at the time of the crash, compared with 13% of the young female operators involved in fatal crashes.
- Motorcyclist fatalities reached 5,290 in 2008, accounting for 14% of total crash fatalities.
- This is the 11th consecutive year that there has been an increase in motorcycle crash deaths.
- The number of individuals injured in motorcycle crashes has decreased for the first time since 1998, declining 6.8%.
2008 Pennsylvania Statistics
- In 2008, there were 816,535 licensed motorcycle riders in Pennsylvania.
- 28,996 students were trained in Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Safety Program in 2008.
- 237 bikers were killed in 2008 in Pennsylvania. 4,077 bikers were injured.
- 49% of the bikers killed in PA in 2008 were not wearing helmets.
- In Pennsylvania, 32% of the motorcycle operators killed in 2008 had a BAC of .08 or higher.
2007 National Statistics
- In the United States, motorcycle accident deaths increased by 6.6%, accounting for almost one in eight motor vehicle deaths.
- There were 5,154 motorcycle fatalities nationwide, and 2007 was the 10th straight year of increase.
- Biker deaths hit an all-time low in 1997. Since that time, they have increased by 128%.
- In 2007, 49% of bikers killed in crashes were age 40 or over.
- 31% of motorcycle crash fatalities occurred in the under 30-year-old group in 2007.
- 20% of crash fatalities occurred in the 30- to 39-year-old group in 2007.
- 27% percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent.
- In 2007, 36% of all bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 24% of passenger car drivers.
- 26% of bikers involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid license in 2007.
- There are about 75% more motorcycles registered now than there were 10 years ago.
2007 Pennsylvania Statistics
- 225 people died in motorcycle accidents in 2007 in Pennsylvania.
- In 2007, there were 4,111 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania. In 2000, there were 2,837 crashes involving accidents.
- Motorcycle fatalities increased from 152 in 2004 to 225 in 2007.
- There were 3,686 motorcycle accidents that involved injuries.
- Of the 225 people who suffered fatal injuries, 210 were the driver of the motorcycle and 15 were the passenger.
- 74% of the fatalities occurred in the 30- to 45-year-old age group.
- 68% of the fatalities occurred in the 46- to 65-year-old age group.
- 55% of the fatalities occurred in the 21- to 29-year-old age group.
- 4,716 PA bikers were involved in motorcycle crashes.
- 227 Pennsylvania bikers reported receiving serious injuries in motorcycle accidents.
- 1,317 bikers were admitted to trauma centers in Pennsylvania.
- 657 bikers were admitted to trauma centers with a head injury.
2006 National Statistics
- Per registered vehicle, the fatality rate for bikers in 2006 was 5.5 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants.
- The injury rate for motorcycle riders was 1.2 times the injury rate for passenger car occupants.
- In 2006, bikers accounted for 11% of total traffic fatalities.
- In 2006, 4,810 motorcyclists were killed – an increase of 5% from 2005.
- In 2006, 88,000 bikers were injured in accidents.
- In 2006, 37% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal accidents were speeding, compared with 23 percent for passenger car drivers.
- Of all fatally injured motorcycle operators, 27% had blood alcohol concentrations of .08 g/dL or higher.
- Bikers killed at night were three times more likely to have blood alcohol concentrations of .08 g/dL or higher than those killed during the day.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that for every 100 bikers killed while not wearing a helmet, 37 of their lives would have been saved if they were wearing a helmet.
- Helmet use has declined by 20% over five years, from 2001 to 2006.
- In Pennsylvania, there were 188 motorcycle-related fatalities in 2006.
- Motorcycles are more likely to be involved in a fatal accident with a fixed object than another vehicle
2006 Pennsylvania Statistics
- In 2006, there were 3,889 motorcycle accidents in Pennsylvania. In 2000, there were 2,837 total crashes involving motorcycles.
- Motorcycle fatalities increased from 152 in 2004 to 185 in 2006.
- There were 3,486 motorcycle accidents that involved injuries.
2005 National Statistics
- In 2005, 4,553 people died in motorcycle crashes, an increase of 13% from 4,028 in 2004.
- Motorcycle fatalities increased for eight consecutive years from 1997-2005.
- Bikers were 34 more times likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash in 2005, and 8 times more likely to be injured.
- From 1997 to 2005, motorcycle fatalities are estimated to have risen 115%. In 2005, 87,000 riders were injured in accidents, up 14.5% from 76,000 in 2004.
- Motorcycle riders accounted for 10.5% of total traffic fatalities, 13.8% of occupant fatalities, and 3.5% of all occupants injured.
- 47% of riders killed were 40 years of age and older.
- Fatalities of riders 30 years of age and under dropped to 32% in 2005 compared to 50% in 1995.
- Fatalities among riders 30 to 35 years of age also dropped to 21% from 26% in 1995.
- 27% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- 41% of the 1,878 fatally injured bikers who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2005 had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- On weekend nights, 61% of riders who died in single vehicle crashes had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- 34% of bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding compared to 26% of passenger car drivers.
- 24% of riders involved in a fatal accident were riding without a valid license.
- 1,546 lives were saved by helmets in 2005. If all states required helmets, an additional 728 more lives would have been saved.
- Helmets are estimated to be 37% effective in preventing a fatal injury.
Have You Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?
Don’t become another statistic. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, our experienced motorcycle accident attorneys can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Get started right now by taking advantage of our free legal evaluation.