You may wonder, “How likely is a motorcycle accident?”

In recent years, California has witnessed an alarming increase in motorcycle accidents. Compared to car accidents, motorcycle accidents lead to higher risks and more severe injuries and fatalities. According to statistics, these accidents are not only rising in number but also leading to severe injuries and fatalities. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) provides data on motorcycle fatalities and serious injuries. Therefore, it is essential to understand the trends, patterns, and causes of motorcycle accidents to prevent them and improve road safety. The Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS) offers detailed statistics on motorcycle accident statistics in California. This system provides detailed statistics on the number of accidents, fatalities, injuries, demographics, accident causes, and locations.

In this article we will look at California accident statistics vs national motorcycle accident statistics.

Below are statistics that highlight how dangerous motorcycle accidents can be throughout California.

  • In 2022, there were a total of 10,597 motorcycle accidents in California.

  • These accidents resulted in 8,632 injuries and 532 fatalities.

  • Male motorcyclists account for a majority of accident victims.

  • The age group of 25-34 has the highest number of fatalities in motorcycle accidents.

  • Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco have the highest number of motorcycle accidents in the state.

  • From 2018 to 2019, motorcycle accident injuries increased from an estimated 82,000 victims to 84,000 victims in the U.S.

  • Motorcycle accident fatality cases across the nation have reached levels above 5,000 victims every year since 2015.

  • California reported the second most motorcycle fatalities in 2020 in the U.S.

  • In 2019, motorcyclists were about 29 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured in the U.S.

  • TIMS recorded just over 3,000 injuries stemming from motorcycle impacts in Los Angeles County in 2021.

  • Santa Clara County motorcycle collisions left 277 people with injuries in 2021.

  • Fresno motorcycle crashes left around 235 people injured in 2021.

  • Around 6% of all motorcyclists killed in 2019 in California were not wearing helmets.

Nationwide Motorcycle Crashes Are Rising

Despite only constituting 3% of registered vehicles and traveling only 0.6% of all vehicle miles in the US, motorcyclists accounted for a staggering 14% of all traffic fatalities, 18% of all occupant fatalities, and 4% of all occupant injuries in 2020. Motorcycle accident fatalities and serious injuries are significantly higher in motorcycle crashes compared to other vehicle types. The use of helmets has been identified as a key factor in the fatality trends among motorcyclists.

In 2020, fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers increased by 11%, while the rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled surged by 23%. Motorcycle accident fatalities have been rising nationwide and in California. Over the past decade, fatalities have risen by 20% while death rates have skyrocketed by 27%. The current number of motorcycle fatalities stands at 5,579, and the rate is at a concerning 31.64 per 100 million vehicle miles.

Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 had a higher percentage of alcohol impairment than drivers of any other motor vehicle type, with 27% for motorcycles, 23% for passenger cars, 19% for light trucks, and 3% for trucks. Motorcycles are involved in a disproportionate amount of traffic deaths despite forming a small percentage of registered vehicles.

From 2007 to 2020, the number of motorcyclist deaths and death rates are displayed in the chart. Although non-fatal injuries decreased by 2% from 2019 to 2020, the injury rate increased by 10%. Due to changes in sample designs from 2016 onwards, injury estimates from CRSS and NASS GES cannot be compared. Since 2016, the number of injuries has decreased by 21%, but the injury rate has decreased by only 8%. However, the injury rate has been on the rise for the past two years.

2023 Motorcycle Crash Statistics 1

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What is the Likelihood of Crashing a Motorcycle?

Riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, but it can also be dangerous. Motorcycles lack the protection that cars and other vehicles provide, making riders more vulnerable to injury in the event of an accident. Unsafe speed is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents in California, contributing to a significant percentage of crashes. The likelihood of crashing a motorcycle depends on a variety of factors, including rider experience, road conditions, and motorcycle design. Universal helmet laws have a significant impact on preventing deaths among motorcycle riders, with lower fatality rates in states that have such laws compared to those that do not. In this article, we’ll explore the statistics and factors that affect the likelihood of motorcycle crashes.

But while California paints a grim picture of increasing Motorcycle crashes, nationally that’s not the case. In fact, after reviewing data provided by the Insurance Information Institute, this is what we found:

The data shows data on motorcyclist injuries and injury rates from 2011 to 2020. The number of injuries ranges from 82,000 in 2011 to 104,000 in 2016. The number of registered motorcycles ranges from 8,437,502 in 2011 to 8,679,380 in 2016. The injury rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles ranges from 945 in 2018 to 1,203 in 2016. The number of vehicle miles traveled ranges from 17,632 million in 2020 to 21,385 million in 2012. The injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled ranges from 408 in 2018 to 511 in 2016. Overall, the data shows that motorcyclist injuries and injury rates vary from year to year, with some years having higher rates than others. It also suggests that the injury rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles has generally been decreasing over the years, while the injury rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled has been more volatile.

Frequently Asked Questions About Motorcycle Crashes

  1. What is the leading cause of motorcycle accidents in California?

  • Lane splitting and reckless driving are the leading causes of motorcycle accidents in California.

  1. Who is most affected by motorcycle accidents in California?

  • Male motorcyclists and the age group of 25-34 are most affected by motorcycle accidents in California.

  1. What can be done to prevent motorcycle accidents in California?

  • Educating riders and drivers about road safety, enforcing laws, improving road conditions, and promoting the use of protective gear can prevent motorcycle accidents in California.

  1. How many motorcycle accidents occurred in California in 2022?

  • There were a total of 10,597 motorcycle accidents in California in 2022. 2023 numbers are still being tallied.

  1. Which cities in California have the highest number of motorcycle accidents?

  • Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco have the highest number of motorcycle accidents in California.