Accident & Injury Statistics: Motorcycles

Motorcycle helmet lying in the roadKnow Your Rights – Contact a Houston Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

If you want to find out how often motorcycle accidents occur and want a clear picture of the extent of damage they can cause, one way to get this information is by analyzing accident and injury statistics. We have compiled the following information to help you understand more about motorcycle accidents not only in Texas but across the United States. If you want to discuss a specific accident or claim, please feel free to call Stern Law Group for a free consultation. A Houston motorcycle accident lawyer can shed light on your unique situation to help you make informed choices.

Texas Motorcycle Accident Statistics

The following statistics have been compiled from information provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TDOT) and apply to motorcycle collisions in Texas during 2012:

  • There were 10,391 motorcyclists (including both drivers and passengers of motorcycles) involved in accidents.
  • 467 motorcyclists were killed in motorcycle accidents. Of these, 187 were wearing helmets and 243 were not. It is unknown whether 37 of these motorcyclists were wearing helmets. (40% helmet use rate).
  • 6,131 motorcyclists were seriously injured in motorcycle collisions. 2,919 of these were wearing helmets, 2,353 were not wearing helmets and it is unknown whether 859 were wearing helmets. (47.6% helmet use rate).
  • 2,248 motorcyclists sustained "other injuries." 1,052 of these riders were wearing helmets, 702 were not wearing helmets and it is unknown whether 494 were wearing helmets. (46.7% helmet use rate).
  • 1,385 motorcyclists were not injured. 645 of these motorcyclists were wearing helmets, 389 were not, and it is unknown whether 351 were wearing helmets. (46.6% helmet use rate).
  • Looking at helmet use rates among motorcyclist injuries and fatalities, motorcyclists who were seriously injured, injured or uninjured had helmet use rates ranging from 46.6% to 47.6%. Helmet use was lower in motorcyclists who lost their lives in motorcycle accidents, at 40%.
  • There were approximately 784,000 motor vehicles involved in traffic accidents in Texas in 2012. Motorcycles accounted for only 1.2% of these vehicles in all traffic accidents but 9.8% of vehicles involved in fatal traffic accidents.

Nationwide Motorcycle Accident Facts and Figures

The following facts and figures have been compiled from information provided by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), which operates under the Department of Transportation:

  • The number of motorcyclist fatalities has increased for three consecutive years, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
  • The number of motorcyclist injuries decreased for four consecutive years, in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 – but then increased by 15% in 2012, from 81,000 to 93,000.
  • Much of the increase in motorcyclist fatalities occurred in the first quarter of 2012. This was the warmest first quarter in history, a factor that may have contributed to the increase in fatalities and injuries, as more motorcyclists would have been on the roads during that time than would have been if the weather had been colder.
  • 4,957 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents across the U.S. in 2012. This represented a 7.1% increase from 2011, during which 4,630 motorcyclists lost their lives in traffic accidents.
  • Motorcyclist fatalities that were considered alcohol-impaired (where a rider had a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater) decreased slightly from 2011 to 2012, from 1,397 to 1,390.
  • In 2012, there were 10 times as many unhelmeted motorcyclist fatalities in states without universal helmet laws (1,858 fatalities) than in states with universal helmet laws (178 fatalities).
  • Per vehicle mile traveled, in 2011 motorcyclists were more than 30 times more likely to die in traffic collisions than occupants of passenger cars. Motorcyclists were 5 times more likely to be injured.
  • Though motorcycles accounted for 0.6% of vehicle miles traveled and 3% of all registered vehicles in the U.S., motorcyclists accounted for 14% of traffic fatalities in 2011.
  • 56% of motorcyclist fatalities in 2011 were riders aged 40 or older. 17.8% were aged 30 to 39 years old, and 26.4% were under the age of 30.

Ready to learn more? Contact a Houston motorcycle accident attorney at our firm!