Motorcycle Injury Prevention

Obviously, it is simply not possible to prevent all injuries or fatalities attributed to motorcycle riding accidents. Drivers and riders who are wearing the appropriate gear at the time of their accidents though, are able to substantially mitigate or lessen the overall effects of their crashes. Proper protective clothing includes a DOT approved helmet, eye protection, jackets and trousers, gloves and footwear.

Consider the following motorcycle crash statistics:

  • Single vehicle motorcycle crashes account for about 45 percent of all motorcyclist fatalities
  • Helmet use among fatally injured motorcyclists was below 50 percent
  • 29 percent of ALL fatalities are believed to have been preventable if a helmet were used
  • Half of the fatalities are related to negotiating a curve prior to the crash
  • Almost 60 percent of motorcyclist fatalities occur at night
  • Almost 50 percent of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement
  • Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement and motorcycle size
  • Almost one third of the fatally injured operators did not have a proper license


*With funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the University of Southern California conducted a study called "Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures", popularly known as the "Hurt Report". Much of the information found here can be attributed to that study. Other useful sources in generating the content found here include information from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), and the MAIDS report. The MAIDS report is the most recent large scale study of motorcycle accidents and it was carried out in five European countries from 1999-2000.