Traffic Safety Initiatives: Motorcycle Safety

The number of fatalities involving motorcyclists in the United States has recently decreased from a peak of 5,112 deaths in 2008. A total of 4,693 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2015, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS); however, data still show that motorcyclist fatalities have doubled since 1997 and continue to be an area of significant concern for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement executives.1 According to data from NHTSA, motorcyclists in the United States are 29 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and 5 times as likely to be injured.2

As motorcycling has become more popular, especially over the course of the last 10 years, there has been a corresponding increase in crashes and fatalities involving motorcyclists. Despite motorcycles comprising only 3 percent of registered vehicles and covering less than 1 percent of vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists still account for nearly 15 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities.3