Fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents have been increasing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2005, 4,008 motorcyclists died and 76,000 more were injured. Most fatalities happen when the crash is with another vehicle. In addition, over 1/3 of the motorists who died were speeding at the time of the accident. Alcohol was involved in 50% of the accidents.
Because of minimized visibility and stability, motorcycles are more prone to accidents. Motorcycles make up only 2% of registered vehicles, yet they are involved in 8% of fatalities. Motorcyclists are 32 times as likely to die in a crash as opposed to those in a passenger vehicle. Over half of motorcyclists who are fatally injured had not worn a helmet.
Road design also contributes to the risks. The mix of road surfaces and obstructions will impact a motorcycle far more than a car. Uneven pavement transitions and poor road surfaces are hazardous. In addition, poor road designs such as blind corners, low curbing, cobblestones, speed humps, ruts, and uncovered drainage pits are also particularly dangerous for motorcyclists.
Motorcycle injuries are generally serious and thus expensive. Because of their reputation as reckless drivers, motorcyclists might face challenges in proving their case. However, those prejudices can be overcome. By demonstrating a good past driving record and other law-abiding evidence, a motorcyclist can persuade the court to view them as a responsible citizen.