blog home Motorcycle Accidents Fact Check: Motorcycles Are More Dangerous Than Cars

Fact Check: Motorcycles Are More Dangerous Than Cars

By Butler Prather LLP on March 5, 2024

Riding a motorcycle is fun, convenient, and a lot more economical than driving a car. People who are concerned about the environment appreciate the fact that motorcycles leave a much smaller carbon footprint than cars, trucks, and SUVs with combustion engines. But there’s no getting away from the fact that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving an automobile.

A major cause of motorcycle injuries and fatalities is careless drivers who disobey the law, make unsafe maneuvers, and fail to look out for motorcycles.

Statistics Prove That Motorcycles Are Less Safe

Over the years, cars have become a lot safer. Thanks to the efforts of consumer activists and personal injury lawyers, the big automakers have been forced to add several key safety features to new vehicles, including seat belts, airbags, and unibody frame construction that disperses the impact of a collision.

Recent innovations in motorcycle technology, such as anti-lock braking systems and adaptive headlights, have made motorcycles safer to ride. Unfortunately, motorcycle accident fatalities continue to rise. When compared head-to-head, statistics demonstrate that riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than traveling inside a passenger vehicle:

  • A motorcycle accident is 30 times more likely to be fatal than a car accident.
  • Motorcycle riders are four times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to be injured in an accident.
  • Motorcycle accident fatalities have increased more than 20 percent over the last decade.
  • Motorcycle riders make up 14 percent of traffic fatalities, but just 3.5 percent of registered vehicles are motorcycles.
  • Motorcycle riders are nearly 28 times more likely to die in traffic crashes than passenger vehicle occupants.
  • Within a span of one year, fatalities among motorcycle riders and their passengers increased by 8 percent.
  • There were 5,932 motorcycle riders killed by crashes in a recent year.

Motorcycle Accidents Caused by Negligent  Drivers

People who have motorcycles understand the need for safety, and riders take precautions to prevent accidents, such as wearing safety gear and riding defensively. But even when motorcycle riders do everything they can to avoid an accident, they are often defenseless against careless drivers who make bad decisions.

No one who is impaired by drugs or alcohol should ever get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. In addition to diminishing essential driving skills such as reflexes, reaction time, judgment, and coordination, drinking causes blurred vision and double vision, seriously diminishing the driver’s ability to spot motorcycles on the road.

A moment of driver distraction is all it takes to cause a tragic accident, and drivers must avoid using a handheld device, reaching for objects inside the vehicle, and all other types of behavior that cause them to take their eyes off the road.

Speeding kills. In fact, more than a third of fatal motorcycle accidents involve a speeding motorist. When drivers refuse to obey the posted speed limits, they don’t have enough time to avoid dangerous crashes.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), thirty-five percent of motorcycle accidents happen at intersections. Drivers must always enter an intersection with caution and be prepared to slow down.

Another major threat to motorcycle riders is dooring, which happens when drivers and driver-side passengers fail to make sure no one is coming before opening the door. Motorcycle riders have no time to react, and they are completely vulnerable in this situation.

Negligent driver behavior that causes severe injuries and fatalities for motorcycle riders and their passengers includes:

  • DUI
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Dooring accidents
  • Road racing
  • Careless merging
  • Failure to yield
  • Tailgating
  • Failure to signal and pause before changing lanes
  • Failure to slow down in rainy, icy, and foggy weather

When a car, truck, or SUV crashes into a motorcycle, riders and their passengers who survive the accident are likely to suffer severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), paralysis, crush injuries, internal organ failure, whiplash, and amputation. There are also serious injuries unique to motorcycle crashes, such as road rash and biker’s arm.

Motorcycle accident injuries cause severe disabilities and chronic pain. The victim may require several rounds of costly treatment and therapy, and you might never ever be able to resume your regular day-to-day activities.

Your Georgia motorcycle accident attorney will file a claim or lawsuit against anyone whose negligent behavior contributed to your injuries, including unsafe drivers. Your claim will include the following types of damages:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Medical devices
  • In-home nursing care
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Surgeries
  • Disfigurement
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home

Are You Suffering from Catastrophic Injuries After a Motorcycle Accident?

It’s only fair that the person who hurt you should have to pay for what they did. At Butler Prather LLP, we get justice for motorcycle accident victims. Our Georgia personal injury lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for clients in over 30 states. We have won nine verdicts that exceed $100 million and more than 60 verdicts and settlements of over $10 million.

Call us at (706) 322-1990 to schedule your complimentary consultation today.

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon