It's obvious when compared to cars and trucks, motorcycles are less stable and much less visible than other motor vehicles. The motorcyclist's vulnerability is immense, and the potential for a deadly motorcycle accident is always present, even for the most responsible of motorcyclists.
When a motorcycle accident does occur, the rider's rate of injury, or death per accident, is astronomical when compared to that of a driver or passenger in a car or truck. In fact, the risk for injury and death is so much greater, that the U.S. government has placed the odds at 37 to 1 for a motorcyclist to be involved in a fatal crash when compared side-by-side to an automobile for every mile that each travels.
The result: was 5,000 fatal motorcycle crashes in 2006.
Since 1975, when the NHTSA began collecting data, the 5,000 fatal motorcycle crashes exceeded the number of pedestrian deaths for the same calendar year. Motorcycle deaths had been on the decline until 1998, and then the numbers began to rise again. In fact, fatal motorcycle crashes accounted for 11% of all in 2006.
Motorcyclists will attest to the enjoyment of riding on a motorcycle, but their happiness comes at significant risk. Learning to ride a motorcycle properly requires expert training and experienced instructors at your side. And even then, a motorcyclist cannot account for a distracted driver, being rear-ended, or hit from the side as a car changes lanes without seeing them. Motorcyclists can only hope that their risks will reduce as much as possible by practicing safer driving habits and utilizing proper accident prevention methods.