Motorcycle Statistics

Motorcycle statistics provide valuable insight into the current state of motorcyclists and their riding habits. Motorcycle statistics can also act as a warning to motorcyclists to practice safe riding habits. As motorcycle death and injuries continue to steadily rise, motorcycle safety becomes an increasingly important issue.

Motorcycle statistics give strong evidence that motorcycles are typically more dangerous than passenger vehicles such as cars and trucks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that roughly 80 percent of motorcycle accidents result in rider injury or death. Comparatively, only 20 percent of automobile accidents are estimated to result in injury or death.

Motorcycle Rider Statistics

  • According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), roughly 8.2 million motorcycles were on the road in 2010. This number increased from eight million in 2009.
  • It is estimated that U.S. households with one or more motorcycles increased from 5.4 percent in 2003 to 6.8 percent in 2008.
  • It is estimated that roughly one in 10 motorcyclists are female.
  • Generally speaking, females are more interested in motorcycle safety training than males. Roughly 58 percent of female riders take formal courses, compared with 44 percent of males.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

  • In 2011, there were roughly 100,000 motorcycle accidents. Of these, 4,749 were fatal, roughly 77,000 involved injury, and roughly 18,000 resulted only in property damage.
  • Roughly 75 percent of motorcycle accidents involve a collision with a passenger vehicle. The remaining 25 percent are single-vehicle accidents during which the motorcyclist loses control or collides with another object.
  • In 2010, about 96,600 motorcyclists reported being involved in an accident.
  • Roughly 46 percent of motorcycle accidents occur at intersections.
  • Motorcycles are involved in 35 crashes per 100 million miles driven. In comparison, passenger vehicles are involved with 1.7 crashes per 100 million miles driven.

Motorcycle Death and Injury Statistics

  • Motorcycle death rates have increased about 55 percent since 2000.
  • In 2011, 4,612 individuals died in motorcycle crashes. This number increased from 4,518 in 2010.
  • In comparison to passenger vehicle riders, motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die from a vehicle accident based on miles traveled. Similarly, motorcyclists are five times more likely to be injured.
  • Speeding is the primary contributor to roughly 35 percent of motorcycle death cases.
  • It is estimated that motorcyclists who do not wear helmets are 40 percent more likely to die from a head injury than those who wear helmets.
  • In 2010, roughly 55 of every 100,000 motorcycles were involved in a deadly crash. Only nine of every 100,000 passenger vehicles were involved in a deadly crash.
  • Helmets can reduce the risk of death by an estimated 37 percent. Similarly, helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by an estimated 69 percent.


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Morris, C. Craig. “Motorcycle Trends in the United States.” U.S. Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administration. United States Department of Transportation, 14 May 2009. Web. 22 Jul 2013. <>.

“Motorcycle Crashes.” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, n.d. Web. 22 Jul 2013. <>.

“Motorcycle Crash-Related Data.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Jun 2012. Web. 22 Jul 2013. <>.