Motorcycle Accident Facts Data 2020

The Most Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

A motorcycle accident is a collision involving a motorcycle and another vehicle or object. These types of accidents can be serious and often result in injuries or fatalities. It is important for motorcycle riders to always wear protective gear and to follow the rules of the road to avoid accidents. If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, it is important to seek medical attention and to contact the authorities to report the accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data in 2020, the year with the highest number of motorcyclist killed was 5.579 people, this number constituted 14 percent of all traffic deaths. From 2019 that number increased by 11%. What are the most common causes of motorcycle crash based on NHTSA, here are the most common causes:

Car or other vehicles were turning left

There were 21% or 575 accidents are caused by other vehicles turning left while motorbikes go straight past or overtake other vehicles.


There were 34% or 1921 fatal accidents due to racing with other vehicles or speeding over the speed limit

Alcohol impaired

There were 27% or 1436 accidents were caused by motorcyclists due to alcohol-impaired (BAC of .08 g/dL or higher)

Other common causes:
  • Motorcycle driver error or reckless behavior, such as speeding, alcohol or drug use, or lack of proper training or experience.
  • Failure of other drivers to see or yield to motorcycles, often due to inattention or distracted driving.
  • Poor road conditions, such as potholes, debris, or uneven surfaces.
  • Mechanical failure or defective motorcycle parts, such as faulty brakes or tires.
  • Inclement weather, such as rain, fog, or strong winds.
  • Road construction or other obstacles in the road, such as parked cars or construction vehicles.
  • Animals or other objects in the road, such as deer or fallen branches.
  • Improper lane changes or failure to yield.
  • Vehicle collisions or other collisions with objects.
  • Lane splitting or weaving in and out of traffic.
  • Sudden stops or lane changes by other vehicles.
  • Motorcycle size or visibility issues.

Motorcyclist Fatalities & Injuries Statistics (Past 5 years)

Motorcyclist Fatalities & Injuries Statistics 2015-2020

Motorcycles are two-wheeled vehicles that are more affordable, fun to ride, more fuel efficient, compact for parking, look sporty, and agile in city congestion, maintenance costs are cheaper than cars, motorbike insurance costs are cheaper, etc.

Behind the pros of motorcycles, there are also cons of motorbikes which are more vulnerable to weather, limited luggage, more tired and sore than driving by car, motorcycle riders are more likely to be injured than those who drive cars. For motorcyclists to avoid accidents, it is necessary to know the factors that cause accidents. To reduce the risk, we should know what factors cause accidents on motorcycles. Three factors cause traffic accidents, namely:

  • Situation introduction
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Riding etiquette & mentality
  • Riding skill
  • Valid License (Motorcycle & Driver)
  • Poorly maintained
  • Improper modification
  • Road conditions
  • Traffic signs
  • Weather

On the highway, motorcycles are smaller in size than cars and trucks, motorcycles also have lower stability than four-wheeled vehicles, so they are more vulnerable and risky in the event of an accident on the road. According to a Stanford Law School report, it is said that more than 90% of traffic accidents are caused by human error.

Why the human and vehicle factors are so important, because that’s what we can control. In addition, the things that we can control are good motorcycle control, traffic ethics and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) or Motorcycle Gear is also very important.

In order to reduce the motorcycle factor, motorcycle maintenance and repair is needed, besides that there is an obligation to carry out regular motorcycle testing or check your motorcycle before driving long distances. The condition of a motorcycle that is less reliable, can also be a cause of accidents.

Motorcycle factors that most often occur are broken tires, brakes that don’t work or lack of grip, worn parts that are not replaced and various other causes. Another factor that is no less important in every accident case is the poor road infrastructure.

Like the condition of the roads are damaged and potholes. Especially entering the rainy season, where many damaged roads are often the cause of accidents. Road factors related to speed, road plans, road geometry, safety fences in mountainous areas, presence or absence of road medians, visibility and road surface conditions, damaged or potholes are very dangerous for road users, especially for motorcycle users.

Weather factors here can be predicted by the presence of fog, rain, slippery roads, which will bring the risk of traffic accidents. Weather factors such as rain affect the work of the vehicle such as the braking distance becomes longer, the road becomes more slippery, visibility is also affected because the windshield wiper cannot work perfectly or heavy rain causes the visibility to be shorter. Smoke and fog can also interfere with visibility, especially in mountainous areas.

90% Caused by Human Error

“Objectifying and Predicting” is needed by motorcyclists to read and predict what will happen next from the current conditions. it is necessary to face various dangerous conditions while riding a motorcycle.

The human factor is the most dominant factor in accidents. Almost all accidents are preceded by violations of traffic signs. Violations can occur due to intentional, ignorance of the meaning of the applicable rules or not seeing the applicable provisions or pretending not to know.

In addition, drivers who are negligent and even speeding while riding motorbikes, not a few traffic accidents are caused by driving a vehicle drunk, sleepy, and easily provoked by the actions of other road users who may be able to provoke passion for racing.

Human error, and especially recognition error, plays an important role in car and motorcycle traffic accidents. Failure of car drivers and motorcyclists to properly understand the road situation can also result in wrong decisions and performance errors.

Motorcycle Braking Distance

motorcycle braking when recognizing hazards

Motorcycle Safety

Safety riding is a safe driving behavior that can helps to avoid traffic accidents in which it is the basis of driving training with attention to safety for drivers and passengers. Safety riding is designed to increase rider awareness of all possibilities that occur while driving.

Safety riding is a program to reduce the number of traffic accidents by providing an understanding to the public that traffic is an activity that involves many aspects so that it must pay attention to the safety and security factors for oneself and others.

The priority targets for the safety riding program include equipping vehicles with mirrors, turn signals and brake lights (vehicle accessories), using helmets and other motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Motorcycle gear

Motorcycle riders are required to wear motorcycle Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or also known as “Motorcycle Gear” which is used to increase safety and and protect vital body parts such as the head, hands, body and feet.

Safety Tips for Motorcyclists

Here are some tips as “Important Safety Reminders” with the do’s and don’ts to prevents accidents:


Check the motorcycle before driving, such as checking the instrument lights, checking the wheels, checking the front and rear brakes.

Be Noticed and keep your headlights on even during the day to increase your visibility and that of cars, trucks and others seeing you.

Ride in daylight only, in addition to increasing your visibility, you can see traffic and roads more clearly.

Wear personal protective equipment (safety gear) such as a helmet that has a valid label from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), both for motorcyclists and passengers.

Wear other protective equipment such as jackets, trousers, gloves by using high-visibility colors, it is recommended to increase visibility, a jacket with reflective material so that it reflects light when exposed to light.

Be a responsible motorcycle rider, obeying traffic rules, signs, speed limits and lane markings. Provide sufficient safe distance between your motorcycle and other vehicles.


Don’t ride a motorcycle with a large engine size (cc) above 500 cc if you are not used to controlling a large motorbike, especially if you are a beginner.

Don’t ride in the Blind Spot, because you are not seen by other vehicles, make sure you are in the driver’s line of sight, be it in front, behind or on the side.

Do not drink alcohol before riding, Nearly half of all motorcyclists in the US are due to drinking alcohol, avoid drinking any kind of alcohol when you want to ride a motorcycle or vehicle.

Do not ride under the influence of ANY drug because riding motorcycle requires focus, concentration and full awareness.

Avoid riding at night if possible because your visibility is limited, if you have to wear a jacket with reflective gear is the best way to get other drivers to notice you on the road.

Avoid riding in Bad Weather such as snow, rain, sleet, or cold temperatures. Besides being uncomfortable, it can also be very dangerous for motorcyclists.

What should You do after motorcycle crash?

If you are in a situation where, as a motorcyclist, you have complied with traffic regulations, wear safety gear and are not drunk or speeding but still have a motorcycle accident, what should you do? Here’s a guide on how to act in your best interest, if you are involved in a accident.

1 Check yourself and find a safe place, stay out of danger by getting off the highway and out of traffic. Keep yourself away from the dangers of further accidents such as leaking fuel tanks of vehicles, burning vehicles, collapsing structures and others.

2 Call 911 immediately and check yourself and other people who are injured on medical assistance that comes to the location.

3 Remain calm even though it is difficult to remain calm in the event of a recent accident and do not do or say anything that could make the situation worse.

4 Call the Police and report briefly the basic facts. The report can help you if a liability claim is made.

5 Do not leave the scene, record all the information you need such as, name, address, insurance policy number involved in the accident, photos of vehicles, property damage and information about your environment, such as road signs or nearby buildings.

6 Talk to eyewitnesses, if possible ask someone to use your phone to take videos, try to interview everyone who witnessed the accident, and record their observations or by writing them down on a piece of paper. Also ask for their name and contact number.

7 Cooperate with Police, Be careful what you say, statements at the scene of an accident can have serious legal consequences later on so be careful not to admit fault as the cause of the accident is not yet clear.

8 Call your insurance company and tell them about your accident. If the insurance company asks you for a written statement, you can tell the insurance company that you don’t want to provide a statement at this time, and you will schedule it in the future. This will give you time to consult with a lawyer and be prepared to answer all their questions.

9 Find and contact a motorcycle accident lawyer who is experienced in handling motorcycle accident cases, technically you don’t need a attorney to make a claim after your motorcycle accident. but hire an attorney will be very beneficial and assist you in handling your motorcycle accident claim. so you can focus on healing from the injury.

Help us spread this safety riding campaign, and if you have any Tips to Prevent Motorcycle Accidents, please contact us.

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