Motorcycling – The Facts

Motorcyclists are 57 times more likely to be injured in serious or fatal crashes than car drivers.

The Department for Transport has published statistics on road casualties in accidents reported to the police in Great Britain in 2009, according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Key results

  • There were 472 motorcycle user fatalities in 2009, 4% lower than 2008. The number reported as seriously injured fell by 4% to 5,350. Total reported motorcycle user casualties fell by 4% to 20,703 in 2008. Motorcycle traffic rose by 2% over the same period. The all motorcycle user casualties figure for 2009 of 20,703 is 4% lower than in 2008.
  • There were 163,554 road accidents reported to the police involving personal injury in 2009, 4 per cent fewer than in 2008.  Of these, 21,997 accidents involved serious injuries, 5 percent fewer than in 2008 (23,121).

Injuries to motorcyclists are far out of proportion to their presence on our roads. Motorcyclists are just 1% of total road traffic, but account for 19% of all road user deaths. (Source: Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2008).

Typically around three-quarters (75%) of motorcycle KSIs (killed or seriously injured) occur in collisions involving another vehicle (usually a car). In 2008, just over half (51%) occurred in collisions at junctions, with the remainder of KSIs occurring either in crashes with other vehicles away from junctions (24%) or in single vehicle incidents (25%) .

A report by the National Highway Traffic Administration states that between 1975 and 1999, motorcycle accidents claimed the lives of 38,000 motorcyclists. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System has analyzed possible reasons for the increasing accidents. Some causal factors include the following: rural roads, high percentage of alcohol content in blood, night driving (which accounts for 60% of fatalities), vision problems, and undivided roadways, among. Weather does not account for most accident cases.