Motorcycle Injuries & Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Motorcycle injuries and motorcycle accident statistics remind us how important it is for all drivers to use care and caution on the road. From our Colorado motorcycle accident attorneys, here are some important motorcycle accident statistics and injury information.
2021 Colorado Motorcycle Accident Statistics
Based on information provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration1, the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA)2 and KKTV3:
- For the first half of 2021, motorcycle fatalities were down 18% in the State of Colorado. However, 2020 was a record year for motorcycle fatalities.
- There were only 59 motorcycle-related deaths in Colorado in January-June 2021 compared to 72 in January-June 2020.
- 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injuries.
- 140 motorcycle riders were killed in Colorado in 2020.
- Head-on and rear-end collisions are the most common types of motorcycle crashes (74% of all motorcycle crashes).
- 17% of motor vehicle crash deaths in Colorado are motorcycle-related (By comparison, in New Hampshire, motorcyclists account for 30% of motor vehicle deaths).
- 63% of motorcycle accident victims were not wearing a helmet.
- 18% of motorcycle accident victims had a bodily alcohol content above the legal limit at the time of the crash.
Motorcyclists account for only 3% of registered vehicles. However, they accounted for 23% of Colorado’s traffic fatalities in 2020. Of the 622 traffic fatalities in Colorado in 2020, 137 were related to motorcycle accidents.
How Much More Likely Are You To Crash on a Motorcycle?
According to the NHTSA Motorcycle Safety Guide4, motorcycle riders are 29 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle accident than people in a passenger vehicle like a car or truck. In addition, motorcyclists are four times more likely to be injured in an accident than others on the roads.
Motor vehicle accident statistics for all vehicles on the road from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety5 and NHTSA include:
- Colorado averages 10.3 motor vehicle deaths per 100,000 population. (The national average is 11.)
- Colorado averages 1.09 motor vehicle deaths per 100 million miles traveled (The national average is 1.11 deaths per 100 million miles traveled.)
- By comparison, Colorado’s neighbor California averages 9.1 deaths per 100,000 population and 1.06 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled.
- Washington D.C. has the fewest deaths, with 3.3 traffic deaths per 100,000 people.
- Wyoming is the most dangerous state for motor vehicle travel, with 25.4 deaths per 100,000 people.
Motorcycle Helmet Safety Statistics
- Since repealing its helmet law in 2012, the State of Michigan saw a 12% increase in motorcycle-related head trauma. They also recorded a 38% increase in motorcycle crash skull injuries.
- A study by the University of Wisconsin found that motorcyclists without helmets are twice as likely to sustain cervical spine injuries.
- Helmet use is at an all-time high, with 71% of riders reporting wearing helmets in 2020.
What Are the Most Common Motorcycle Accident Injuries?
The U.S. National Library of Medicine6 lists these common motorcycle accident injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Fractures and broken bones
- Spinal cord injury
- Internal organ damage
- Bleeding and bruising
- Skin burns and bruising
Approximately half of all spinal cord injuries are the result of a traffic accident. These injuries can be devastating and require long-term medical care and treatment. That’s why it’s vital to speak with an experienced motorcycle accident attorney to bring a legal claim for the compensation you deserve.
Why Do Motorcycles Produce More Serious Injuries Than Motor Vehicle Crashes?
Motorcycles produce more severe injuries than other motor vehicle crashes because the rider doesn’t have a large vehicle to protect them from impact. In addition, many motor vehicle crashes occur because the driver of the other vehicle doesn’t see the motorcyclist. That can mean that the other driver doesn’t slow down before the collision occurs.
Who Is at Fault in Most Motorcycle Accidents?
In most motorcycle accidents, the other driver is at fault. In fact, the motorcyclist is at fault in only 40% of accidents that involve a rider. The other driver is at fault 58% of the time. For 2% of crashes, there are other causes.
Do You Get Less Financial Compensation if You’re in an Accident on a Motorcycle As Opposed to Other Cars?
No. Your right to financial compensation is not diminished if you’re in an accident on a motorcycle as opposed to other types of cars. A victim has a right to claim total compensation for accident damages regardless of the kind of vehicle they choose to drive.
A person who drives negligently is responsible for the damages that they cause. Under Colorado law7, they must take the victim as they find them. It is not considered contributory negligence to choose to drive a motorcycle. Instead, the victim has the right to claim the damages they qualify for under the law.
How Can All Drivers Protect Motorcyclists on the Roads?
Both motorcyclists and passenger vehicle drivers alike can do their part to protect motorcyclists on the roads. Remember to allow the cyclist full use of a traffic lane. All parties should always observe traffic laws.
Because of their smaller size, it’s not always easy to see a motorcyclist. Exercise caution and remember to be alert for all vehicles that you may encounter while driving. Leave plenty of following distance from other cars and take road conditions into account.
Do Motorcyclists Have Different Legal Rights Than Other Drivers?
Legal rights are the same for motorcyclists as they are for all other drivers. All drivers on the roads must act with reasonable precautions. They should maintain their vehicle and observe traffic laws.
When an accident occurs, the victim has the right to seek financial compensation. The law takes a wide view and considers the entire set of circumstances and the actions of each party. Compensation is based on the victim’s actual losses and damages.
Our Attorneys for Motorcycle Accidents
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, contact our Colorado attorneys for motorcycle accidents. To us, you’re not just another statistic. Our legal team knows the unique issues that are present in cases that involve motorcycle accidents.
Let us explain your rights and what you can do to receive the compensation you may deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.
1National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). National Statistics. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx
2Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (RMIIA). Motorcycle Safety. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from http://www.rmiia.org/auto/traffic_safety/Motorcycle_Safety.asp
3Grewe, Lindsey. (21 July 2021). Deadly motorcycle crashes down statewide from 2020. KKTV 11 News. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://www.kktv.com/2021/07/21/deadly-motorcycle-crashes-down-statewide-2020/
4National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Motorcycle Safety. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles
5Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). (March 2021). Fatality Facts 2019 State by state. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state
6Dischinger, P. C., Ryb, G. E., Ho, S. M., & Braver, E. R. (2006). Injury patterns and severity among hospitalized motorcyclists: a comparison of younger and older riders. Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, 50, 237–249. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217482/
7Schafer v. Hoffman, 831 P.2d 897 (Colo. 1992) Retrieved 23 September 2021 from https://casetext.com/case/schafer-v-hoffman
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