motorcycle safety tips

Why Are Motorcycle Fatalities Increasing?

Why Are Motorcycle Fatalities Increasing?

Motorcycle riding can be a lot of fun mainly because of its freedom. You get a fresh dose of oxygen as you breathe and feel closer to nature when riding. The sense of freedom is also unmatched as you cruise on highways and open roads.

However, the fact is that motorcycles are more dangerous than cars and trucks. If you love motorcycling, you must consider this fact. The statistics show that the rate of deaths of motorcycle riders in the U.S. has been increasing in recent years. Continue reading this article to explore the reasons why motorcycle fatalities are on the rise.

1. What’s Causing the Rise in Motorcycle Fatalities?

1.1 More Riders, More Risk

More Riders, More Risk
Data Source: Statista

There are more motorcycle users today than there were a decade ago. It is the main reason why roads have become unsafe for motorcyclists. More motorcycles sharing the road with large vehicles, including cars and trucks, increases the risks.

1.2 Smaller and Less Visible

The issue here is that bikes are much smaller. They often go unnoticed by car drivers, resulting in a crash.

Motorcycles are prone to get in the blind spots of large vehicles. You can easily spot a car driving in the next lane by looking in your car’s side mirror. However, you may not be able to notice a motorcycle riding in the next lane.

This often results in an accident especially if the car driver needs to take his time to look left and right before switching lanes or taking a turn. Just imagine you are riding a motorcycle, and a car in front of you suddenly makes a turn at an intersection without even paying attention to the motorcycle. This is a really dangerous situation.

1.3 Risky Rider Behavior

Risky Rider Behavior
Data Source: Forbes ; Murphy Lawyer

Motorcycle accidents can also occur even if you ride responsibly and follow traffic laws. However, most reported motorcycle accidents are due to riders’ bad choices. Such bad decisions taken by riders can cost them their lives.


Motorcycle accidents can also occur even if you ride responsibly and follow traffic laws. However, most reported motorcycle accidents are due to riders’ bad choices. Such bad decisions taken by riders can cost them their lives.

Riding While Drunk

Riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs is another major factor in why motorcycle fatalities are on the rise. Riding under the influence of alcohol and drugs can reduce several things including:

  • Reaction time
  • Visibility
  • Sense of judgment
  • Control
  • Ability to maneuver
  • Focus
  • Ability to move

Riding a motorcycle safely requires all of the things above. It is recommended not to go for a ride if you are missing even a single one of them.

1.4 Not Wearing Helmets

Here's another important thing: helmets are the most essential component of the protective gear that must be worn at all times during the ride. Helmets are something similar to seat belts for motorcycles.

There is a very thin line between getting a small knock on the head and an extremely serious brain injury. Unfortunately, not all the riders use helmets and they are therefore more likely to face severe head injuries or even get killed in case of an accident.

1.5 Sharing the Road with Distracted Drivers

Distractions are a threat to all road users. However, they are much more lethal to motorcyclists than to car drivers. When car drivers are texting, using their phones for calls, or eating a burger while driving, they may not notice a motorcycle.

Such a situation can result in a very bad accident as this can put a motorcyclist in their blind spot. Also, the driver will not be able to even see the motorcycle in the first place to act on time and avoid the accident.

1.6 Even the Road Itself Can Be a Danger

Even the most experienced and careful rider can have an accident due to the condition of the road. Imagine riding peacefully on a wide spacious road with less traffic. Your riding experience can suddenly change as soon as you hit a pothole. Unfortunately, potholes, bumpy roads, and even small pieces of gravel present much more risks for a motorcycle than for a car.

1.7 Weather Can Be a Rider’s Enemy

On the other hand, rain and fog can also become a major threat that can hinder the riders’ visibility and the ability to notice other vehicles. For instance, heavy rain will cause slippery roads and this is something that a motorcycle cannot easily maneuver.

You may not be able to ride your bike at all during the snow season as it makes the road slippery and unusable. Also, extremely cold weather causes muscles to lack mobility. This can make riders lose their ability to respond to any situation effectively.

2. Numbers Don't Lie

2.1 More Deaths on the Road

Many researches show that the number of motorcycle deaths has been increasing in recent years. For instance, the number of fatal accidents in 2022 was the highest in history. There were more than 6,200 motorcycle fatalities in 2022. That's a scary number.

Motorcycle fatalities now constitute a bigger portion of the total traffic fatalities compared to past year statistics.

2.2 Not Just a Summer Problem

The majority of riders think that motorcycle accidents usually occur more in the summer. However, this is not true. Even though there are more motorcyclists on the road during the summer, accidents can occur at any time of the year.

Some may think that winter causes the most motorcycle accidents and fatalities. This is because the conditions, including the rain and snow, are highly unfavorable for safe riding. Surprisingly, a huge number of motorcycle fatalities occur during good weather.

2.3 Young Riders at Higher Risk

The research also reveals that new and young riders under 30 are more vulnerable to fatal motorcycle accidents. It is mainly because they are less experienced. Also, they lack the road sense and deal with difficult situations during the ride.

2.4 What the Numbers Mean

The increasing number of motorcycle fatalities should be a wake-up call to every road user. Motorcycle riders and car drivers must take the situation seriously. Such numbers indicate that we have to come up with ways to ensure motorcycle riding is made safer.

3. Working Together to Make Roads Safer for Everyone

So, how can we reduce the number of motorcycle fatalities or accidents? Below are some useful ideas:

3.1 Riders’ Responsibility

Use a helmet, avoid speeding, and never take a ride when you are under the influence. Consider taking a safety course to improve your riding skills. The more you ride under the supervision of a qualified trainer, the more experience you gain, and the safer you become.

3.2 Drivers’ Responsibility

As mentioned earlier, motorcycles are often hard to see. The rider may be right beside you if you decide to change lanes or take a turn. Distracted driving is a serious issue, so pay attention to the road instead of texting or answering phone calls. This is not the right time for texting or scrolling through social media feeds when you are on the road.

3.3 Authorities and Lawmakers’ Responsibility

Authorities and lawmakers are crucial stakeholders that can help to make roads safer for motorcyclists. They can arrange resources to ensure that motorcyclists do not have to ride through poorly maintained roads with potholes and low-contrast markings.

They can also use their authority to organize awareness campaigns to educate riders on safe riding practices. It is a sad reality that many people are still unaware of what riders go through on the roads. The more people who are aware of this, the better and safer the roads will become for all.

Through a combined effort, riders, drivers, and the authorities can help make motorcycling safer and fun. With this in mind let us all strive to work towards safe roads for all.

4. Takeaway

Motorcycle riding is among the most exciting road experiences. However, it has to be safe. The increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities has two primary causes.

First, more people have started riding motorcycles. This means that there are more inexperienced riders on the road. This can make the road congested and add more challenges to bikers.

Second, the motorcyclist is more highly exposed than a car driver. A car driver is protected by the metal frame, seatbelts, and airbags.

However, there are ways through which one can reduce the likelihood of getting injured while riding a bike. By wearing protective equipment, particularly a helmet. It is a life savior. It doesn’t matter how much you ride, always wear a helmet. It’s your only protection against severe head injuries.

Enrolling in a safety riding course can enable you to gain useful skills. You can become a better and safer rider. You also get to learn the ability to deal with tough situations while riding. The most important thing is to be aware of your surroundings.

By following these steps, you can have a much more relaxed time on the motorcycle. You will be less worried about the risks and can enjoy more.

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