Do motorcycles cause more accidents than cars?
On Augusts 3rd, a man was killed in a motorcycle accident at the border of Lebanon and Clinton Township, New Jersey. The man who was riding the motorcycle, a firefighter at the Country Hills Volunteer Fire Department, was thrown off his motorcycle when he collided with a driver at a busy intersection. It’s a devastating tale that we’re all too used to hearing, and the accident was followed by two more fatal motorcycle accidents in New Jersey that took place later in the week. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially for motorcyclists across the state.
With fatal motorcycle accidents becoming all too common in New Jersey, it makes you wonder, are motorcyclists more prone to getting into accidents than car drivers are? According to data recorded in 2014, there were 5,982,000 passenger car accidents in the Untied States. There are an estimated 255.8 million registered vehicles in the United States, so roughly 0.2% of all cars were involved in a car accidents that year. The same data from 2014 states that there were 110,000 motorcycle accidents in 2014, so there were more than fifty times more passenger car accidents than there were motorcycle accidents. Also, there are about 9 million registered motorcycles in the U.S, meaning that roughly 0.01% of all motorcycles were involved in an accident in 2014.
Contrary to what many believe, motorcyclists actually get into far less accidents than passenger car drivers do. The issue with motorcycle accidents? Sadly, many of them are fatal. Per mile traveled in 2014, it is estimated that the number of deaths on motorcycles was 27 times the number of deaths in cars.
In recent years, much has been done to improve motorcycle safety, but the problem is, many riders ignore safety precautions. In fact, it is said that nearly 40% of all motorcycle fatalities in 2014 could have been avoided if the motorcyclist had been wearing a helmet. There is plenty of padding and safety gear available for motorcyclists, but because of the daredevil culture that surrounds motorcycles, many riders refuse to wear safety gear.
The Summer and Fall are the peak of motorcycle riding season, so there are more motorcycles on the road now than there are at any other time of the year. If you see a motorcyclist on the road with you, be sure to be extra careful, especially if the rider isn’t wearing a helmet. Even if you see a motorcyclist driving aggressively, back off, and give the rider space. For all you know, you could be saving someone’s life.