Motorcyclists 27x more likely to die than auto drivers

Motorcyclists are 27x more likely to die and 5x more likely to be injured than folks in passenger cars. RideApart discusses the dangers of motorcycling in a mature and upfront fashion.

According to the latest statistics available, the NHTSA reported 4,976 people were killed while riding in 2015 in the United States, which is up 8.3 percent from 2014 (which saw 4,594 fatalities). This is out of a reported 8.6 million private and commercial motorcycles on the road in 2015. While that's more than a 1 in 1,728 chance, there are some other statistics that do point to motorcycles being objectively dangerous. The fatality rate per registered vehicle for motorcyclists was six to seven times higher than the fatality rate for "passenger car occupants" in 2014. Motorcyclists in 2014 were also 27 times more likely than "passenger car occupants" to die in a crash per "vehicle mile traveled," and nearly five times as likely to be injured.

In 2015, the NHTSA reported that 33 percent of riders killed were a "direct result" of the rider speeding. Some 40 percent of the riders killed in 2015 were not wearing a helmet. And it tends to be the case that riders who had a blood alcohol content level in excess of the legal limit also made up a large chunk of the total rider fatalities – especially in states like Texas, Florida and California, where riding can be a year-round pursuit.

The statistics point to a number of proactive steps that can be taken to make riding safer: Wear a helmet, don't ride drunk or high, receive proper training, and don't speed.

Be safe out there.