Severity of Motorcycle Crash Injuries
For years, researchers have studied the severity of motorcycle accidents in comparison to injuries sustained by motor vehicle occupants in similar crashes. As a result of these studies, we know that motorcyclists are at greater risks of sustaining life-threatening and fatal injuries in collisions than are occupants of cars and trucks. Furthermore, according to a recent article from Reuters Health, the medical costs for motorcycle accident injuries are significantly higher than we previously thought.
In a recent study conducted by physicians at the University of Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital, researchers determined that “severe injuries were 10 times more likely with motorcycle crashes,” and that the financial toll of those injuries is even higher than we might expect. Motorcycle accidents “cost about twice as much as car accidents to treat over the first two years after the collisions.” In other words, not only are motorcycle crash injuries more expensive in the short term—during an initial transport to an emergency department—but the rehabilitation and subsequent treatment costs are also markedly higher.
What is the average cost of a motorcycle accident over two years’ time—from the date of the accident to two years later—compared to car and truck crash costs? The researchers reported that motorcycle collisions cost, on average, $4,569 while car crashes cost, on average, $2,349.
Why do we need to know about the stark difference in economic costs of a motorcycle crash and a car crash? As the researchers suggest, significant effort has gone into improving motorcycle safety during the last couple of decades, yet new technology has done little to lower the rate of fatal motorcycle crashes or to lessen the severity of injuries in these collisions. As one of the authors of the study explained, “estimating the medical costs of care for motorcycle crashes may provide an additional incentive to improve safety.”
Motorcycle Crashes: Facts and Figures
How often do motorcycle collisions occur? Where do these crashes happen most often? What causes most motorcycle accidents? A fact sheet from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) provides the following facts and figures to help answer these questions:
- The rate of motorcycle deaths is more than 27 times the rate of death for car occupants;
- Head injuries are the most common source of fatal injury in motorcycle crashes;
- Helmet use can reduce deadly head injuries by about 37%;
- Nearly 4,700 motorcyclists sustained fatal injuries in 2015;
- Motorcycle deaths make up 13% of all reported traffic fatalities;
- About 30% of deadly motorcycle accidents involve riders under the age of 30;
- About 60% of fatal motorcycle crashes occur during the warmer months of May through September, and there is typically a spike in July; and
- About half of all deadly motorcycle accidents occur on weekends.