In March 2021, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its newest data about motorcycle accidents, and the picture is not pretty. The report shows that 5,014 motorcyclists were killed on American roads in 2019, more than double the number of motorcyclist deaths that occurred 20 years ago.

Motorcycles are more dangerous than passenger cars for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Lack of airbags or seatbelts
  • Lack of steel frames or side-impact protection
  • Small size that makes it difficult for other drivers to see them
  • Vulnerability to weather, wet roads and other environmental factors
  • Riders’ inconsistent use of helmets, due in part to varying state laws
  • Capability of reaching speeds that exceed the skills of most riders

Considering all these factors, it should not surprise that motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in accidents than are people in cars or trucks.

Many people are quick to blame motorcycle accidents on young riders who may be lacking in skill and experience. But the IIHS data paints a different picture. Riders 50 and older accounted for 37 percent of all motorcycle fatalities in 2019, whereas riders 29 and younger made up 27 percent of such deaths. Regardless of age, 90 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2019 were men. On the rare occasions when women died in a crash, 60 percent of the time they were passengers.

Motorcyclists who survive their crashes may sustain serious and sometimes catastrophic injuries such as:

  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and other head injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Loss of limb/amputation
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Organ damage

As the summer riding season gets closer, motorcyclists should try to stay as safe as possible. You should always try to wear bright colors with reflective material to make yourself more visible. Always wear a helmet (New York law requires helmet use for all drivers and passengers, regardless of age). Ride defensively, follow traffic rules and wear protective clothing to help lessen the blow if you do end up in a crash. And most of all, never drive a motorcycle after you’ve been drinking.

The attorneys at The Licatesi Law Group, LLP in Brooklyn and Uniondale, New York have decades of experience handling personal injury and wrongful death claims arising from motorcycle accidents. We are ready to meet with you and discuss your situation. Call 516-227-2662 or contact us online anytime to arrange a free initial consultation.