Motorcycle Accidents vs. Car Accidents

With hundreds of thousands of crashes occurring every year on Georgia roadways, it’s important to be aware that there are serious inherent risks involved in the use of any motor vehicle. While cars, trucks, and bikes make our lives much more convenient, it’s vital to remember that they are still extremely heavy metallic machines traveling in close proximity to one another at high rates of speed. Automobile accidents are an unfortunate reality of motorized travel.

Driving a motorcycle, however, puts the danger factor into overdrive. In fact, a motorcycle is significantly more vulnerable than just about any other form of vehicle, and nowhere is this more evident than in the statistics comparing motorcycle accidents to car accidents. While a motorcycle can be a fun and thrilling way to get around, it’s important to consider an old adage that many a biker has repeated: it’s not a matter of “if” you’ll get into a motorcycle accident, but “when.”

Fatality Statistics at a Glance

Many more people are killed in car crashes than in motorcycle accidents every year, but this misleading comparison is a simple factor of the number of vehicles on the road. Many more people drive and ride in cars than on motorcycles. When you compare the fatality and injury rates rather than simply the gross number of accidents, the evidence speaks for itself: motorcycles are significantly more dangerous to their operators and passengers than cars.

  • Motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than people who operate passenger cars.
  • Motorcycle crashes account for around 14% of total traffic fatalities.
  • Among passengers involved in roadway accidents, death rates are 6 times higher in motorcycle crashes than in car crashes.
  • For every 100,000 registered vehicles on the road, there are around 10 car fatalities but nearly 60 motorcycle fatalities.
  • When calculated based on the number of total miles traveled, the discrepancy appears even sharper. For every 100 million vehicle miles traveled, there is just under 1 passenger car fatality but over 25 motorcycle fatalities.
  • Only about 6% of the approximately 5,000 people killed in motorcycle accidents each year are passengers (compared to around 60% in car accidents). This is an obvious and expected result of the fact that most motorcyclists rarely take passengers in the first place.
  • Motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a higher incidence of alcohol impairment than any other type of motorist (25% of motorcyclists in fatal accidents were drunk, compared to only about 20% for passenger vehicles).
  • About one quarter of motorcycle accident fatalities occur when a motorcyclist crashes into a fixed object (e.g., a building or tree). This is once again higher than the rate for passenger cars, where only about 18% of fatalities are due to fixed object collisions.
  • Motorcycle helmets can help save lives, but not all states require them for all riders. Some states have age-related helmet restrictions or other situational rules, or simply allow riders to go without a helmet. States like Georgia, however, prioritize rider safety and require helmets for all motorcycle operators.
  • Around 10,000 people die in speeding-related accidents every year, with about half of them not wearing seat belts—motorcycles, of course, do not feature seat belts as a matter of design.

Getting Help After a Motorcycle Accident in Georgia

If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic accident, whether in a car or on a motorcycle, Lamar Law Office, LLC can help. Our expert personal injury attorneys serve clients throughout the Atlanta area and beyond, and we have an excellent track record of seeking maximum damages for wrongfully injured parties.