Each time a motorcycle rider revs up their engine and hits the open road, they embrace a sense of freedom that few other modes of transportation can offer. Yet, this liberating experience comes with a sobering reality—the horrifying risk of severe accidents and motorcycle deaths.

But just how fatal are motorcycle collisions?

Let’s dive deep into the chilling motorcycle accident statistics that reveal the stark truth behind vehicle accidents and traffic safety facts.

National Overview

Motorcycle fatalities have soared to 5,932, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC). This shocking data reveals a vast disparity in injury and mortality rates between motorcycle and car accidents, with motorcycles seeing an alarming 80% rate compared to passenger cars at just 20%.

Despite making up only 3.5% of all registered vehicles, motorcycles are responsible for 14% of all traffic deaths.

NHTSA also uncovered another troubling statistic: 55% of motorcyclists killed in the United States in 2021 were not wearing helmets.

In 2021, there was a concerning rise in alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes across all vehicle types—passenger vehicles and motorcycles. There’s an even sharper increase of 18.8% in alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal motorcycle crashes.

These statistics serve as a wake-up call to prioritize motorcycle safety. Whether you’re a motorcyclist or a fellow road user, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and adhere to traffic laws.

California-Specific Statistics

Did you know that 13% of motor vehicle fatalities in California were motorcycle-related? Between 2020 and 2021, California saw a 2.9% increase in motorcyclist fatalities, mirroring the 7.7% increase nationwide during the same period.

According to the 2021 National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), the use of helmets compliant with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) among motorcyclists dropped to just 64.9% in 2021. However, in states with universal helmet laws, where motorcycle helmet use is mandatory, the rate increased significantly to 86.1%.

In California, the top five motor vehicle crash types are broadside (26%), overturned (19.5%), hit object (15.8%), rear end (14.8%), and sideswipe (12.4%).

Unsafe speed takes the lead at 29.1% in 2021 regarding primary crash factors among motorcycles. Improper turning and automobile right of way follow closely at 21.9% and 16.0%, respectively.

Additionally, driving or bicycling under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or those that went beyond the acceptable BAC)—not to mention unsafe lane changes—were significant contributors to fatal injuries involving motorcycles.

In 2021, 74% of all motorcycle fatal crashes occurred in urban areas, while only 26% occurred on rural roads.

Principal arterials were the most common location for these crashes, accounting for 29%. Minor arterials and major collectors followed at 22% and 18%, respectively. Interstates comprised 12% of motorcycle fatal crashes, with the remaining 19% occurring on other freeways, expressways, local streets, and minor collectors.

Tragically, 40% of fatal and severe injury motorcycle crashes in 2021 happened outside of busy weekdays—specifically Saturdays and Sundays. The peak time of day for these crashes is between 12-3 p.m. and 3-6 p.m., mainly on Saturday afternoons.

In Los Angeles

Los Angeles has tragically experienced the highest number of fatalities and serious injuries in California—with 120 and 821 cases in 2021, respectively.

This significant disparity highlights the alarming contrast in accident statistics compared to the top five counties: San Bernardino, San Diego, Sacramento, Riverside, and Orange.

These findings shed light on the hazardous conditions that motorcyclists face in LA. The city’s bustling streets and high-speed highways, such as the notorious 405 and 101, create a hazardous environment for riders.

Factors Contributing to Fatal Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycling is exhilarating, offering a sense of freedom and adventure that’s hard to match. However, it also comes with inherent risks, with motorcycle accidents often resulting in severe injury or death.

Let’s delve into the top three factors—speeding, alcohol and substance use, and lack of protective gear—that contribute to these deadly incidents.

1. Speeding

Speeding is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents. It’s easy to see why. High speeds reduce the time riders react to hazards, increase the distance needed to stop, and make it harder to control the bike. Moreover, the higher the speed at impact, the more severe the injuries tend to be.

To combat this, riders must adhere to posted speed limits and highway safety, adjust their speed to road conditions, and resist the urge to compete with other motorists.

2. Alcohol and Substance Use

Alcohol and substance use are a deadly combination with motorcycle riding. These substances impair judgment, slow reaction times, and affect balance—all crucial for avoiding traffic fatalities. What’s worse is that alcohol and drugs put the rider and everyone on the road at risk.

Riders should always avoid alcohol and drugs when planning to ride. If you’ve consumed these substances, consider alternative transportation options.

3. Lack of Protective Gear

Finally, the lack of protective gear significantly contributes to the severity of injuries in motorcycle accidents. Helmets, in particular, are crucial. They protect against head injuries, often deadly or leading to severe long-term disabilities.

Besides helmets, protective clothing, including jackets, pants, and boots, can help prevent cuts, abrasions, and burns.

Legal Assistance for Victims

Trust the expertise and compassion of Frantz Law Group if you or a loved one has sustained motorcycle accident injuries or, unfortunately, death. Our team of legal experts is dedicated to making this process as seamless as possible, allowing you and your family to focus on recovery.

Our Approach

At Frantz Law Group, we believe in a personalized approach. Each case is unique, and we treat it as such, providing tailored legal solutions that meet your needs. We work tirelessly to investigate the accident, gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and take the case to court if necessary.

Proven Track Record

With decades of experience and a proven track record of success, our lawyers have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. This includes cases involving serious injuries, wrongful death claims, and more. Our commitment to excellence has earned us recognition from prestigious legal organizations and countless satisfied clients.

Your Advocate

As your legal advocate, we will fight to ensure you get the justice and compensation you deserve. We understand the pain and trauma you’re going through, and we’re committed to standing by your side every step of the way.

No Upfront Fees

We operate on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing unless we win your case. This allows you to seek the justice you deserve without worrying about upfront legal fees.

If You or a Loved One Has Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident, You’re Not Alone

Motorcycling offers an unmatched sense of freedom, but it’s essential to understand the inherent risks involved. By understanding the risks and taking proactive steps to mitigate them, riders can significantly increase their chances of staying safe on the road and avoiding motorcycle accident fatalities.

However, if you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, Frantz Law Group is here to handle the legalities. Our experienced personal injury attorneys have a track record of successfully representing victims and their families in motorcycle accident cases.

Our law firm understands the physical, emotional, and financial toll these accidents can take. That’s why our motorcycle accident lawyers provide compassionate and dedicated legal representation to help you seek justice and compensation for your injuries or loss.

Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you navigate the complex process of seeking legal recourse after a motorcycle accident.