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The most common cause of a motorcycle accident death is blunt force trauma to the skull, typically due to a driver’s choice not to wear a helmet. While it’s speculative, many studies have shown that these motorcycle accident deaths may well have been averted had the motorcyclist opted to wear a helmet. 

Understanding the most common causes of motorcycle accident injuries and deaths may be able to help prevent future accident from occurring. 

Motorcycle Injuries Statistics

When compared to cars and trucks, motorcycles are far less crashworthy. Besides their smaller size, motorcycles are also less stable, more vulnerable to environmental conditions, and less visible while on the road compared to closed vehicles. As a result, motorcycle injuries and deaths on the road are higher than that of vehicle passengers. In 2017, motorcyclists were nearly 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger car occupants per vehicle mile traveled. 

Motorcycle deaths have been on the steady decline through the years. In 2017, there was a decrease of over a 150 motorcycle accident deaths from the previous year. However, the NHTSA predicted that, out of the 

Motorcycle Deaths Per Year

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, motorcycle deaths fluctuate throughout the years.  


2008:     96,000         5,312

2009:     90,000         4,469

2010:     82,000         4,518

2011:     81,000         4,630

2012:     93,000         4,986

2013:     88,000         4,692

2014:     92,000         4,592

2015:     88,000         5,029

2016:    104,000        5,337

2017:     89,000         5,172

The NHTSA reported a total of 4,985 motorcycle fatalities in 2018, an almost 5% drop from 2017. However, the number would be even lower if riders were all wearing helmets. 

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accident Injuries and Deaths 

Unfortunately, motorcycles are greatly overrepresented in traffic fatalities. By wearing helmets, staying visible on the road, and riding sober, motorcyclists can reduce the chances of having an accident.  

While there are times when it is partly the motorcyclists fault in a fatal accident, many times it isn’t. In fact, there are many cases where there isn’t a black and white case of wrongdoing. In some cases, it’s a combination. Understanding common causes and types of motorcycle injuries can help prevent future accidents. Common causes include:

Driver Unaware Of A Motorcycle In Their Vicinity

About 75% of accidents were found to involve a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists can help prevent this by staying visible on the road, and passenger vehicles can do their part by staying alert while driving and being respectful of motorcyclists when charging the road. 

Driver Negligence 

Many crashes are due to bad drivers. About half of all crashes occur at intersections. Be aware of motorists that are practicing unsafe driving.

Bad Road Conditions

Try to avoid bad weather; harsh conditions, such as thunderstorms, can cause motorcycle injuries and deaths. 

Highway Construction & Repairs

Construction zones can be responsible for serious accidents since even experienced drivers can have trouble anticipating what lays ahead and properly navigating around traffic, signs, workers, and cones. When riding through construction zones, make sure to drive carefully. 

Poor Bike Maintenance

Preventative maintenance can help avoid serious motorcycle injuries and deaths! Make sure to take proper care of your motorcycle.  

Lack Of Protective & High-Visibility Clothing

Motorcyclists can increase their visibility on the road by wearing bright colors and reflective clothing. 

Additionally, wearing a helmet can mean the difference between life or death in an accident. Without a helmet, you’re twice as likely to suffer a traumatic brain injury from a motorcycle crash. Motorcycle helmets should be replaced every five years or after a crash. 

Have you or a loved one been severely injured in a motorcycle accident? If so, you’re not alone! Contact one of our personal injury attorneys to review your case as soon as possible. Motorcycle_Accident_Guide

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