Just how dangerous is riding a motorcycle? Here are the numbers

Friday March 13, 2020

With winter quickly shrinking in the rearview mirror, eager motorcyclists can finally hit the road. Riding season generally begins in May and lasts into the fall, and while this period brings plenty of excitement, it comes with risks.

Motorcycle-involved crashes occur most often from June through September. And when a rider gets in an accident, there is a very good chance they suffer an injury.

In a crash, nearly half are injured or killed

Compared to other vehicles, motorcycles are involved in few accidents, but there were still 1,261 motorcycle crashes in Connecticut in 2017, according to the most recent Crash Facts Book. About two-thirds of those incidents involved another vehicle.

The report breaks down the annual data in a few ways. The conclusions are often troubling. For example, the report says a staggering 45% of motorcycle riders involved in a crash suffer an injury or are killed. That’s almost a coin flip.

In comparison, only 13% of those involved in a crash in any other motor vehicle suffered an injury or death.

Fatality and injury statistics

What does this mean in terms of actual numbers? Across all crashes involving motorcycles in 2017, there were 52 motorcycle rider deaths. Meanwhile, hundreds more suffered some type of injury. That includes:

  • 263 riders with a suspected serious injury
  • 678 riders that suffered a suspected minor injury
  • 258 riders with a possible injury

Of course, the true extent of an injury may not reveal itself until days or weeks later. Some of those individuals with initially minor injuries may, in fact, have ended up suffering the health consequences for quite a long time, leading to mounting medical bills or time away from work.

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