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Vulnerable Riders: What Age Group Is in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Vulnerable Riders: What Age Group Is in Most Motorcycle Accidents?


Vulnerable Riders: What Age Group Is in Most Motorcycle Accidents?

Recent trends with high gas prices are seeing a growth in more than just motorcyclist enthusiasts. A higher proportion of crashes are being reported on the news. But what are the age groups with the most injuries and highest fatality rates?

Although motorcycle riders aged 25 to 29 topped the list of the most vulnerable age groups in motorcycle crashes, riders aged 50 and above accounted for 36% of motorcycle accident fatalities.

As you can see, there is a higher fatality rate among older bikers. A motorcycle provides several advantages, such as easy maintenance and fuel efficiency. At the same time, it is a great way to enjoy the country’s picturesque landscapes. However, there are also many risks associated with riding motorcycles. They’re difficult to control and can easily lose traction over cracks, debris, and other small obstacles, leading to serious injuries.

Besides environmental risks, there is also the risk of accidents caused by negligent road users. Due to the small size of motorcycles, many drivers fail to check their blind spots before making a turn resulting in devastating accidents. Exposure to bad weather conditions and dangerous fixed objects also play a role, as younger riders have faster reflexes and older riders have more wisdom avoiding wrecks with other drivers hogging roads.

Ehline Law and our motorcycle personal injury attorneys work closely with injured motorcycle riders after their accident, protecting their rights from negligent parties and insurance companies. Contact us now to learn more about your legal options.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 5,579 passengers and riders killed in fatal motorcycle crashes and over 84,000 injured in the United States. The National Safety Council reports an 11% increase in motorcycle-related fatalities from 2019 to 2020.

Only 3% of all vehicles in the country are motorcycles, but shockingly it contributes 14% to all traffic fatalities. Motorcycle riders are four times more likely to suffer injuries in motorcycle crashes.

Motorcycle Fatalities and Injuries Per Year

In 2010, there were 4,518 motorcycle fatalities and 82,000 injured; by 2020, there were 5,579 motorcyclist fatalities and 82,528 people injured in motorcycle accidents. The number of deaths and injured people increased by 23.4% and 0.6%.

Over the years, there was a significant increase in motorcycle fatalities compared to those injured. However, it is important to note that the number of injuries has not fallen below 81,000 in the last decade.

The State with the Most Motorcycle Accident Deaths

Violating the speed limit always plays a roles in crash characteristics. And the number of motorcycle accident deaths varies from one state to the other. For example, in Florida, there were 500 motorcycle fatalities, while in the District of Columbia, there were only seven motorcycle accident deaths reported in 2020.

The top three states with the most motorcycle fatalities in 2020 were Florida (600), California (539), and Texas (483), contributing almost 30% of careless motorcycle deaths in the United States. 

Despite universal helmet laws in most top states, motorcycle accident deaths have climbed over the years, which is why it is crucial to have motorcycle insurance for bikes you ride.

What Age Group Is in Most Motorcycle Accidents Expanded?

Although all motorcycle riders are at risk of motorcycle crashes, a few groups are more likely to get into motorcycle accidents than others.

According to the United States Department of Transportation report, the top 3 age groups contributing the most to motorcycle accidents are as follows:

  • Age group 25-29 – 706 fatalities
  • Age group 30-34 – 690 fatalities
  • Age group 65+ – 530 fatalities.

Although motorcycle riders aged 25 to 29 topped the list of the most vulnerable age groups in motorcycle crashes, riders aged 50 and above accounted for 36% of motorcycle accident fatalities.

Riders Aged 25-34

Numerous studies highlight the different factors of motorcycle accidents among riders aged 25-34, and these factors include the following:

  • Inexperience: Whether it is raining or nighttime, young riders do not have the experience to ride their motorcycles safely. Balancing motorcycles can be challenging, and without proper training, the risk of motorcycle accidents among young riders remains high.
  • Lower risk perception: Since 97% of motorcycle accidents occur in clear or sunny weather, it suggests that there are other factors contributing to fatalities among young riders. Young riders do not have much experience riding motorcycles and have lower risk perception, which can lead to devastating accidents.
  • Drug or alcohol use: According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 27% of all motorcycle operator fatalities in 2020 were alcohol-impaired crash fatalities. A 2004 study by Jane Stutts, Robert Foss, and Colleen Svoboda reported 11.9% of all single-vehicle motorcycle crashes involved alcohol/drug use.
  • Speeding: Young riders are more likely to speed than older motorcyclists. In 2020, 1,921 riders (about a third) lost their lives due to speeding. Speeding increases the required stopping distance, making it difficult for riders to avoid vehicles and other obstacles, resulting in higher single-vehicle crashes with registered vehicles sharing roads.

Riders Aged 50+

There are several reasons why older age groups are more susceptible to motorcycle fatalities than younger riders. Young riders have quicker reflexes and can avoid direct impacts and collisions, while people above 50 cannot prevent such impacts.

Older people are more likely to get into motorcycle accidents because of their loss of balance and a weak grip on motorcycle handles. Older people have less resilient bodies than younger riders and lower flexibility, bone density, and muscularity. An older rider is more likely to suffer from severe injuries than a young rider in a similar motorcycle crash.

A 2019 study published in the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International journal revealed that older riders are more likely to develop lethal complications following their accident, increasing the risk of death. They have less regenerative capabilities, and their clotting is much slower.

Where Do Most of the Motorcycle Accidents Happen?

The Federal Highway Administration describes any location with more than 2,500 people as an urban area. Since motorcycle riders share the road with more road users in urban areas than rural areas, the risk of accidents is much higher in densely populated areas with young motorcyclists, including female riders even with a good helmet.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 61% of motorcycle crashes occurred in urban areas, with 66% happening away from intersections and another car driver.

Accidents away from intersections mean riders are exposed to hazards other than vehicles, including uneven road surfaces, gravel on pavements, and other obstacles. Are you an injured motorcycle rider? If you like to ride motorcycles and got hurt, or fatalities occurred to a loved one, motorcycle owners and families know they can count on our legal team to win a favorable outcome in their motorcycle claims. We can even help families of motorcyclists killed in a single vehicle crash, such as when Caltrans leaves an open trench, or a pothole leading to motorcyclist casualties and most fatalities.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law Motorcycle Safety Lawyers

People who wear helmets and protective gear can still get hurt in a crash with other motor vehicles engaged in speeding or other forms of reckless driving. We can help you sue for most traffic crashes occurring in Los Angeles, CA involving passenger cars and other mishaps. If you’ve suffered injuries, like a head injury or a wrongful death in a motorcycle crash or lost a loved one in a fatal motorcycle crash, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.