Motorcyle Accident Statistics

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February 27, 2015
Edward Smith


All information regarding the motorcycle accident statistics compiled here comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  A rider is the operator only, a passenger is seated on the vehicle but not in control.  Multiple parties on a motorcycle referenced together are called “motorcyclists”.

In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclists suffered fatal crash injuries, which is a decrease from 4,986 in 2012.
88,000 motorcyclists suffered non-fatal crash injures, which is a decrease from 93,000 in 2012. Motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities in this year.



Older motorcyclists make up over half of all fatalities among motorcyclists. NHTSA data reveal that 56% of motorcyclists that suffered fatal crash injuries in 2012 were 40 years old or older. This represents a 63% increase from 2003 when that statistic equaled 46%.   Meanwhile, fatalities among young motorcyclists have dropped in relation to other age groups – from approximately 32% in 2003 to 26% in 2012.  According to NHTSA, the average age of motorcyclist fatalities was 43 in 2012 vs. 38 in 2003.


In 2012, 27% of motorcycle riders that suffered crash fatalities had a B.A.C. greater than 0.08% vs. 23% of passenger car drivers and 2% of large truck driver fatalities.  An additional 8% of motorcycle fatalities registered blood alcohol levels that were lower than 0.08%.  Riders aged 40-44 were the most likely to have alcohol as a factor in a fatal crash.  Of those riders involved in a single-vehicle fatal crash, 43% had B.A.C.’s greater than 0.08.  Alcohol as a factor increases as a statistic for riders that were killed at night.


34% of motorcyclists involved in a fatal crash in 2012 were speeding, which is higher than the rate for passenger vehicles (22%).


Nearly a fourth of motorcyclists that were killed in 2012 did not hold a valid license.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento motorcycle accident attorney with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash, call me now at 916.921.6400.

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