//not the thank-you page Motorcycle Accidents: An Overview - Detroit Injury Lawyer
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Motorcycle Accidents: An Overview


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In order to better understand which vehicles are represented here, the following are included when referring to motorcycles:

  • Two- or three-wheeled motorcycles

  • Off-road motorcycles

  • Mopeds

  • Scooters

  • Minibikes

  • Pocket bikes

Due to the nature of motorcycles, they’re not nearly as crashworthy as their closed-vehicle counterparts. Additionally, they’re not as easily seen by other drivers and require more skill to safely operate.

Keep reading to learn more about motorcycle accidents.

Motorcyclists Are Overrepresented in Traffic Fatalities

According to the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to lose their lives when involved in collisions.

During 2017 (the most recent year with data points available from the NHTSA), the following data from the table below shows just how overrepresented motorcycle riders are in traffic fatalities:

  • 5,172 motorcyclists lost their lives in collisions, which is a 3% decrease from the 5,337 motorcycle riders killed in 2016.

  • Motorcyclists made up 14% of all traffic deaths and 17% of all occupant deaths.

  • Motorcycles comprised 3% of all registered vehicles and accounted for 0.6% of all vehicle miles traveled.

  • The fatality rate for motorcyclists was 6 times the death rate for passenger vehicle occupants.

Where & When Motorcycle Accidents Tend to Happen

During the year 2017, the following environmental factors from the graphs below are true regarding motorcycle collisions:

  • 60% of motorcyclist deaths happened in urban areas, in contrast to 40% in rural communities

  • 65% happened in areas other than intersections, in contrast to 35% at intersections.

  • 58% happened during the day, in contrast to 38% in the darkest parts of the night, 4% at dusk, and 1% at dawn.

  • 97% happened when it was cloudy or clear outside, in contrast to 2% in the rain, and 1% in the fog.

  • 91% happened on non-interstate roads, in contrast to 9% on interstate highways.

Multi-Vehicle Collisions

During 2017, the following is true:

  • 76% of motorcycles involved in two-vehicle crashes were hit in the front, compared to just 7% that were hit from behind.

  • 23% of motorcycle fatalities were the result of collisions with fixed objects, in contrast to 16% for passenger cars, 13% for light trucks, and 4% for large trucks.


For data purposes, the NHTSA considers a vehicle to be speeding if an investigating officer reports that racing, driving too fast for conditions, or exceeding the posted speed limit was a factor that contributed to the accident.

In 2017, of all motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents, 32% were speeding, in contrast to 18% for passenger vehicle drivers, 14% for light-truck drivers, and 7% for large-truck drivers.

Motorcycles Are Difficult to Spot

Due to their size and maneuverability, motorcycles are much more difficult to spot on the road than other types of vehicles.

A Few Tips for Passenger Cars:

  • Consistently scan for motorcycles in your side and rearview mirrors

  • Always use blinkers when changing lanes

  • Always check your side and rearview mirrors before changing lanes

  • Never change lanes suddenly in traffic

A Few Tips for Motorcyclists:

  • Do your best to be seen by other vehicles on the road

    • Apply reflective materials to your bike and/or riding gear

  • Don’t make sudden maneuvers, especially when in traffic

  • Try to make eye contact with other drivers whenever possible

  • Use your headlights at all times

  • Yield to other vehicles when appropriate

We’re Here to Help

If you’ve been involved in a motorcycle accident, it’s in your best interest to seek adequate representation to help with your case. Here at Goodman Acker P.C., our team is highly experienced in these sorts of cases and has helped many others in similar situations achieve the justice they deserved. Let us see if we can help you, too. Don’t allow those who’ve acted negligently to get away with their carelessness; because if it happened to you, it can happen again to someone else. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away.

Call Goodman Acker P.C. today at (248) 286-8100 to discuss the details of your case.