Motorcycles are becoming increasingly popular, especially among riders over the age of 40. Every year, there are more motorcycles on the road, so it is not surprising that the number of motorcycle accidents is also increasing. Every year since 2000, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recoded increasing numbers of motorcycle accidents.
These statistics are based on statistics compiled by NHTSA for 2008.
• There are over 7 million motorcycles being ridden on American roads and highways. In 2008, there were 99,081 registered motorcycles in Missouri. There were 84,602 motorcycles registered in Kansas that year.
• In 2008, 5,290 Americans died in motorcycle accidents. This is the highest annual number ever recorded. One hundred and seven of these motorcycle accident fatalities occurred in Missouri. Forty-six occurred in Kansas.
• In 2008, 114,000 motorcycle accidents were considered serious accidents – these are accidents that involve injuries or significant property damage
• Nationwide, fourteen percent of traffic accidents involve motorcycles. In Missouri, motorcycle accidents are responsible for 11% of all traffic fatalities. In Kansas, it is 12%.
• Missouri has a motorcycle crash rate of 108 fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registrations.
• Kansas has a motorcycle crash rate of 54 fatalities per 100,000 motorcycle registrations.
• One-third of motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
• Thirty-five percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a rider who was speeding.
• If you are on a motorcycle and are involved in a crash:
• You are nine times more likely to be injured than if you were driving a car.
• You are 37 times more likely to die than if you were in a car.
• Sixty percent of motorcycle riders wear their helmets. Helmets saved 1,829 lives in 2008. NHTSA officials estimate that another 1,000 lives would have been saved if the rider was wearing a helmet.
• In Missouri, 83 (78%) of those killed in accidents were wearing helmets, 24 were not. Forty nine lives were saved because of helmet use. If all riders wore helmets, an additional nine lives could have been saved.
• In Kansas, 11 (27%) were wearing helmets, 30 were not, 5 are unknown. Seven lives were saved because of helmet use. If all riders wore helmets, an additional 13 lives could have been saved.
• The fastest growing group of motorcycle drivers is those over age 40.
• Sixty percent of those killed in motorcycle accidents in Missouri were over age 40. Sixty-five percent of those killed in Kansas were over age 40.
The biggest causes of motorcycle crashes:
• The failure of other drivers to recognize motorcyclists in heavy traffic or at night
• Bad roads
• Lack of motorcycle riding skill
• Alcohol or drug use
• Seventy-percent of motorcycle accidents occur because a driver of a car did not see the motorcyclist.
Insurance companies often discriminate against motorcycle riders. They portray riders as speed-happy or reckless when, in fact, most riders ride responsibly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you may need help getting the insurance compensation that you deserve. Contact the Kansas City motorcycle crash lawyers at Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys to learn more about your rights after a Kansas City motorcycle wreck.
Our Kansas City personal injury attorneys have put together a free guide that is available to all Kansas City motorcycle riders. Call 1-888-348-2616 to request your free copy of the KC Biker Bible.