Motorcycles make up only four percent of vehicles on the road, yet they are involved in 11 percent of fatal accidents. In 2008, a record 5,290 people died in motorcycle crashes. This is the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in one year since the U.S. Department of Transportation began keeping records of motorcycle fatalities in 1975 and represents an 11-year trend of increasing numbers of motorcycle fatalities.

U.S. motorcycle crashes:
  • Number of motorcycles involved in crashes in 2008: 114,000
  • Number of motorcycle crash fatalities in 2008: 5,290
  • Number of motorcyclists injured in accidents: 96,000
Motorcycle crash fatality rates:
  • Number of registered motorcycles in the United States (2007): 7,138,476
  • Number of motorcycle crash fatalities in 2007: 5,174
  • Number of motorcycle crash fatalities in 2008: 5,290
  • Motorcycle fatality rate per 100,000 registered vehicles (2007): 72.48
  • Motorcycle fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles travelled (2007): 38.01
  • Percent increase in fatalities between 2007 and 2008: 2.2% increase
Driver behavior in fatal motorcycle accidents:
  • Speeding: 35%  
  • Alcohol Use: 29% (43% of single vehicle fatal crashes)
  • Driving without a license: 25%
Helmet-use in fatal motorcycle accidents:
  • 66% of motorcyclists killed in fatal motorcycle crashes were wearing helmets.
  • 48% of motorcyclists killed in alcohol-related fatal motorcycle crashes were wearing helmets.
  • In 2008, helmets saved 1,829 lives.  
  • If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, another 823 lives would have been saved.
  • In Missouri, all motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet.
  • In Kansas, only motorcyclists under age 18 must wear a helmet.
Motorcycle accidents in Missouri

In 2008, there were more than 1,506 motorcycle crashes in Missouri. These accidents caused 66 motorcyclist deaths and 1,427 injuries.  
Motorcycle accidents in Kansas
In 2008, there were more than 1,138 motorcycle crashes in Kansas. These accidents caused 45 motorcyclist deaths and 1,086 injuries. Seventy-five percent of those killed in motorcycle accidents were not wearing helmets.

Have You Been Injured In A Motorcycle Accident?

If you've been injured in a motorcycle accident you need to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Kansas City office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.

You can also order your FREE copy of our book, "KC Biker Bible."

James Roswold
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James Roswold is a Kansas & Missouri personal injury, workers comp, and medical malpractice attorney.