Accident Statistics

Delray

Active member
Here are some sobering statistics to keep us all safer.

From the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report for 2016 ....

(I made one of the facts bold for emphasis: NEVER assume a car turning in front of you sees you ... flash the brights, weave, wave, slow down as if to avoid a crash if you're not sure, etc.)

* 67% of motorcycle fatalities occured away from intersections

* 59% of motorcycle fatalities occured in daylight

* 97% of motorcycle fatalities occured in clear to cloudy conditions (2% occured in rain)

* 91% of motorcycle fatalities occured on non-interstate roads

* 72% of motorcycles in accidents were impacted from the front

* 41% of motorcycles in fatal accidents collided with a vehicle turning in front of them

* 23% of motorcycle fatalities involved colliding with a fixed object (tree, road sign, etc.)

* 33% of motorcycle fatalities involved speeding by the motorcycles

* The average age of a motorcyclist in a fatal accident is 43 (and trending older)

* 27% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were not properly licensed

* 32% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 or higher)

* 50% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were not wearing helmets

* Helmets are estimated to be 37-percent effective in preventing fatal injuries to motorcycle riders. In other words, for every 100 motorcyclists killed in crashes while not wearing helmets, 37 could have been saved with helmets
 

Delray

Active member
Great little video, thanks.

Love the scientific explanations of why we're invisible, but it could have offered more solutions.
 

Ceesie76

Member
These last two (32% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were alcohol-impaired, and 50% of motorcycle riders in fatal accidents were not wearing helmets) always baffle me. I make sure I don't have a drop of alcohol when I ride. And helmets are mandatory here in California (and all other places I have lived) but when I see my colleagues in Florida on their large Harleys, what's left of their hair blowing in the wind, I just can't understand it. Oh well, the land of the free I guess.
 

Delray

Active member
"but when I see my colleagues in Florida on their large Harleys, what's left of their hair blowing in the wind,"

Interesting chart below from Revzilla's website. I'm guessing it's somehow not apples-to-apples because of total miles covered. Motorcycles in year-round riding states like Florida and California are going to cover a LOT more miles than bikes that have four to six-month riding seasons.

My current state Florida is ranked 4th worst.

California does pretty well considering they have the most registered motorcycles.

My home state of New York does even better, but they have a short riding season.

Mississippi is #1 in a lot of worst-in-the-country categories (poverty; teenage pregnancies, etc). In this case, they have the FEWEST registered motorcycles in the U.S. and the highest fatality rate. Guess you can't fix stupid.

RankStateRegistered motorcyclesFatalitiesFatalities per 10,000
registered motorcycles
1Mississippi28,1244014.22
2Texas364,69049013.44
3South Carolina118,13214512.27
4Florida586,26759010.06
5Arizona164,0551639.94
6North Carolina188,8431769.32
7New Mexico57,718539.18
8Kentucky101,163908.90
9Missouri138,2941218.75
10Louisiana113,664968.45
11Tennessee165,9681348.07
12Maryland118,277867.27
13Arkansas89,457657.27
14Nevada76,032547.10
15Alabama112,185797.04
16Hawaii35,576257.03
17Oklahoma136,190936.83
18Georgia203,9221396.82
19Connecticut90,131576.32
20California842,5435296.28
21Virginia193,9511176.03
22Indiana250,5791495.95
23Wyoming28,960175.87
24Kansas95,892565.84
25Michigan258,4871505.80
26New Jersey152,979835.43
27Colorado190,0021035.42
28Maine51,467265.05
29Pennsylvania377,1581874.96
30Illinois333,9431624.85
31Nebraska55,736274.84
32Utah83,993394.64
33West Virginia60,582264.29
34Vermont30,955134.20
35Oregon142,738573.99
36Idaho63,297253.95
37Ohio410,1871573.83
38New York392,1781453.70
39Delaware27,810103.60
40Rhode Island30,914113.56
41Washington231,401803.46
42Massachusets168,931513.02
43Iowa194,603482.47
44Wisconsin324,670772.37
45North Dakota51,941122.31
46Minnesota241,556552.28
47New Hampshire78,798151.90
48Alaska31,85961.88
49South Dakota117,461161.36
50Montana306,65523.075
 

Ceesie76

Member
Besides doing quite well against other all-year riding climate states, California has one other stand-out feature, that many say promotes motoryclists having accidents which is .... it's the only state that allows lane splitting. Despite that, CA has 40% fewer fatalities than Florida. Which does not require helmets. I guess that's case closed on the question whether all states should allow lane splitting: yes of course (except perhaps Mississippi). I've lived in Europe where lane splitting is legal, as in Asia and Africa, and have always been amazed at the prohibition against it in the US. As well as amazed that some states don't mandate wearing helmets. Like Texas (no. 2 on the list).
 

Delray

Active member
"I guess that's case closed on the question whether all states should allow lane splitting: yes of course"

I envy your legal lane splitting. I do it constantly at red lights, eventually walking my bike into the pole position. That provides me with several benefits ... better visibility in the intersection ... not breathing the fumes of that disgusting '98 Nissan truck ... and, my favorite, with natural acceleration, I'm through the intersection before the guy in the car behind me has his foot off the brake -- that means a lot of riding on open roads, FAR FROM CARS, which keeps me safer and happier.

Lane splitting is a $166 fine in Palm Beach County. I was pulled over for it a few months ago by an officer in an undercover SUV. Apparently he has a pet peeve about "hot rods who go to the front of the line and act like they're on a race track when the light turns green." When he saw that clearly didn't describe me (I'm 66 riding a showroom-clean Burgman 650 scooter), he let me go.

Not sure lane splitting would work in Florida. Roughly one quarter of our population is over 65 years old. That means we have lane WANDERERS -- the antithesis of lane splitters. Every time I ride, I'll come across an Ancient One weaving down the road, generally touching parts of three lanes.

"... amazed that some states don't mandate wearing helmets. Like Texas (no. 2 on the list)."

I come from a state (New York) that is second-to-none in terms of regulation. Well, check that. We might be second to California. As far as Florida and Texas, I suspect there is a strong, Republican-born, anti-big government sentiment that views helmet laws as removing a personal freedom. Would it save lives to have a helmet law here? Of course it would. On the other hand, would it save lives to make the top speed for cars 30 mph on every road in Florida? Of course it would. Where do you draw the line?

Gotta say, if I'm riding a few miles on back roads to a grocery store on Sunday evening with little traffic, I will be wearing my white baseball cap, and I'll be grateful for the freedom to do that.
 
Last edited:

DrCohen

Member
Here are some sobering statistics to keep us all safer.
From the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) report for 2016 ....
[details omitted for brevity]
The 2017 data are reported and analyzed at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812785
Well worth reading.
A pretty good summary is at https://www.finder.com/motorcycle-accident-stats
My take (as a professional statistician):
  • The great majority of crashes are head-on to cars, trucks, and stationary objects. Be prepared to stop if one moves in front of you, and don't ride so aggressively that you're likely to hit a guardrail, tree, etc.
  • Helmets appear to reduce fatalities appreciably. That means a real helmet (not the plastic beanies used to get around helmet laws), properly fastened and fitted.
  • Relative rates don't necessarily indicate relative risks, because exposure varies a lot. E.g., most crashes occur in daylight because most riding is done in daylight, not because daylight is dangerous.
 
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