Motorcycle Accidents

Houston Motorcycle Accidents

In 2009 motorcyclists accounted for 13 percent of all traffic fatalities, 16 percent of all occupant fatalities and 4 percent of all occupants injured. Statistics also show that older and more affluent riders make up the newest group of motorcycle enthusiasts as the vehicles gain in popularity. Unfortunately, this group also accounted for half of all motorcycle fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 51 percent of motorcyclists killed in motorcycle accidents were age 40 or over, compared with 33 percent 10 years earlier. In contrast, fatalities among young motorcyclists have declined in the past 10 years, relative to other age groups. In 2008 fatalities in the under 30-year-old group dropped to 31 percent of total motorcyclists killed in crashes from 40 percent in 1998. Fatalities among motorcyclists in the 30-to 39-year-old group fell to 19 percent in 2008 from 27 percent ten years earlier.

The NHTSA also says that if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, 823 more lives would have been saved. Helmets are estimated to be 37 percent effective in preventing fatal injuries for motorcycle riders (operators) and 41 percent effective for motorcycle passengers. However, Texas exempts riders 21 years or older if they either:

  1. Can show proof of successfully completing a motorcycle operator training and safety course or
  2. Can show proof of having an insurance policy.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, contact Attorney Richard G. Ardoin today! He will explain your rights in common terms, and fight to get you the settlement that you deserve.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle Accident Statistics 2009 Crash Data: According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2009, 4,462 people died in motorcycle crashes, down 16.0 percent from 5,312 in 2008. The 2008 deaths were the most since NHTSA began collecting data in 1975. Motorcycle crash fatalities increased every year for the 11 years ending in 2009. According to the latest data available from the Federal Highway Administration, there were 7.7 million private and commercial motorcycles on U.S. roads in 2008, compared with 135.6 million passenger cars. Some 106,000 motorcycles were involved in crashes in 2009, including property damage-only crashes, according to latest data from the NHTSA. Motorcyclists were 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled in 2008 and eight times more likely to be injured, according to NHTSA. The fatality rate per registered vehicle for motorcyclists in 2008 was 6 times the fatality rate for passenger car occupants, according to NHTSA. The National Insurance Crime Bureau said that motorcycle thefts fell 13 percent in 2009 from a year earlier, based on data from the National Crime Information Center of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Motorcycle thefts have declined each year from 2006 to 2009 with the largest decrease occurring between 2008 and 2009. The top five makes stolen and the top five states in thefts are shown below:

TOP FIVE MAKES STOLEN, 2009

TOP FIVE STATES IN MOTORCYCLE THEFTS, 2009

1. Honda 13,688 1. California 6,273
2. Yamaha 9,154 2. Texas 5,526
3. Suzuki 9,154 3. Florida 5,009
4. Kawasaki 5,911 4. North Carolina 3,045
5. Harley-Davidson 3,529 5. Georgia 2,067
Motorcycle Helmet Use 1994-2009

YEAR

PERCENT

YEAR

PERCENT

1994 63% 2005 48%
1996 64%  2006  51% 
1998  67%  2007  58% 
2000  71%  2008  63%
2002  58%  2009  67%
2004  58%     

Based on surveys of motorcyclists using helmets meeting Department of Transportation standards. Surveys conducted in October for 1994-2000 and in June thereafter. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Occupant Protection Use Survey, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's National Center for Statistics and Analysis.

Motorcyclist Fatalities And Fatality Rates, 1999-2009

YEAR 

 FATALITIES

REGISTERED MOTORCYCLES

 FATALITY RATE PER 100,000 REGISTERED VEHICLES

 VEHICLE MILES TRAVELED (MILLIONS)

 FATALITY RATE PER 100 MILLION VEHICLE MILES TRAVELED

 1999  2,483  4,152,433  59.8 10,584   23.46
 2000   2,897  4,346,068  66.66 10,469  27.67
 2001  3,197  4,903,056  65.2  9,639  33.17
 2002  3,270  5,004,156  65.35  9,552  34.23
 2003  3,714  5,370,035  69.16  9,577  38.78
 2004  4,028  5,767,934  69.83 10,122   39.79 
 2005  4,576  6,227,146  73.48 10,454  43.77
 2006  4,837  6,678,958  72.42  12,049  40.14
 2007  5,174  7,138,476  72.48  13,621  37.99
 2008  5,312  7,752,926  68.52  14,484  36.67
 2009  4,462 NA   NA  NA  NA

NA=Data not available. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Federal Highway Administration.

Occupant Fatality Rates by Vehicle Type, 1998 & 2008

FATALITY RATE

MOTORCYCLES

LIGHT TRUCKS

PASSENGER CARS

1998
Per 100,000 registered vehicles 59.13 15.34 16.83
Per 100 million vehicle miles traveled 22.31 1.24 1.36
2008
Per 100,000 registered vehicles 68.52 10.72 10.53
Per 100 million vehicle miles traveled 36.37 0.94 0.93
Percent Change, 1998-2008
Per 100,000 registered vehicles 15.9% -30.1% -37.4%
Per 100 million vehicle miles traveled 63.0 -24.2 -31.6

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. View Archived Tables: OCCUPANT FATALITY RATES BY VEHICLE TYPE, 1997 AND 2007

Motorcyclists Killed or Injured by Time of Day and Day of Week, 2009
 

WEEKDAY

WEEKEND

TOTAL

Time of day

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

MOTORCYCLISTS INJURED

Midnight to 3 am

176

7.9%

247

11.1%

423

9.5%

3 am to 6 am  

73

3.3

78

3.5

151

3.4

6 am to 9 am  

173

7.8

57

2.6

230

5.2

9 am to Noon  

212

9.5

184

8.2

396

8.9

Noon to 3 pm  

380

17.1

349

15.6

729

16.3

3 pm to 6 pm  

513

23.1

416

18.6

929

20.8

6 pm to 9 pm  

391

17.6

538

24.1

929

20.8

9 pm to Midnight  

291

13.1

359

16.1

650

14.6

Unknown  

11

0.5

7

0.3

25

0.6

Total  

2,220

100.0%

2,235

100.0%

 4,462 (1)  

100.0%

MOTORCYCLISTS INJURED

Midnight to 3 am  

1,000

1.8%

2,000

5.1%

3,000

3.2%

3 am to 6 am  

1,000

1.0

1,000

2.1

1,000

1.4

6 am to 9 am  

5,000

9.2

1,000

3.2

6,000

6.7

9 am to Noon  

6,000

11.5

3,000

8.4

9,000

10.2

Noon to 3 pm  

10,000

19.9

9,000

25.0

20,000

22.0

3 pm to 6 pm  

14,000

27.2

9,000

25.6

24,000

26.5

6 pm to 9 pm  

10,000

18.6

8,000

21.1

18,000

19.6

9 pm to Midnight  

6,000

10.9

3,000

9.4

9,000

10.3

Total  

53,000

100.0%

37,000

100.0%

90,000

100.0%

Includes 7 motorcyclists killed on an unknown day of week Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration. View Archived Tables: MOTORCYCLE RIDERS KILLED OR INJURED BY TIME OF DAY AND DAY OF WEEK, 2008

Vehicles Involved in Crashes by Vehicle Type and Crash Severity, 2009
 

CRASH SEVERITY 

 
 

Fatal  

Injury  

Property damage only 

Total  

Vehicle type

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Passenger car  

18,350

40.4%

1,507,000

55.2%

3,686,000

53.7%

5,211,000

54.1%

Light truck  

17,902

39.4

1,066,000

39.1

2,866,000

41.7

3,950,000

41.0

Large truck  

3,215

7.1

53,000

2.0

239,000

3.5

296,000

3.1

Motorcycle  

4,595

10.1

84,000

3.1

17,000

0.2

106,000

1.1

Bus  

221

0.5

10,000

0.4

47,000

0.7

58,000

0.6

Other  

592

1.3

6,000

0.2

12,000

0.2

19,000

0.2

Total  

 45,435 (1) 

100.0%

2,727,000

100.0%

6,868,000

100.0%

9,640,000

100.0%

Persons Killed in Total and Alcohol-Impaired Crashes by Person Type, 2009

PERSON TYPE

TOTAL KILLED

NUMBER

PERCENT OF TOTAL KILLED

Vehicle occupants

Driver

17,640

6,669

38%

Passenger

6,770

2,022

30%

     Unknown occupant

64

3

5%

Total

24,474

8,693

36%

Motorcyclists

4,462

1,480

33%

Non-occupants

Pedestrian

4,092

562

14%

Pedalcyclist

630

85

13%

Other/unknown

150

19

13%

Total

4,872

667

14%

Total

33,808

10,839

32%

Alcohol-impaired driving crashes are crashes that involve at least one driver or a motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or above, the legal definition of drunk driving. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. View Archived Tables: PERSONS KILLED IN TOTAL AND ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED CRASHES BY PERSON TYPE, 2008

Drivers in Fatal Crashes by Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and Vehicle Type, 1999-2009
 

PASSENGER CAR

LIGHT TRUCK

LARGE TRUCK

MOTORCYCLES

Year

Total

BAC = 0.01+

BAC = 0.08+

Total

BAC = 0.01+

BAC = 0.08+

Total

BAC = 0.01+

BAC = 0.08+

Total

BAC = 0.01+

BAC = 0.08+

1999

27,878

25%

21%

19,865

26%

22%

4,868

3%

1%

2,528

40%

33%

2000

27,661

28

24

20,393

26

22

4,948

3

1

2,971

40

32

2001

27,444

27

23

20,704

27

23

4,779

2

1

3,261

37

29

2002

27,236

27

22

21,562

27

23

4,550

3

2

3,363

39

31

2003

26,422

26

22

22,172

25

22

4,658

2

1

3,800

36

29

2004

25,568

27

23

22,367

25

21

4,837

2

1

4,116

34

27

2005

25,046

28

24

22,879

25

22

4,900

3

1

4,679

34

27

2006

24,162

27

23

22,307

28

24

4,729

2

1

4,961

34

26

2007

22,765

27

23

21,719

27

23

4,601

2

1

5,306

35

27

2008

20,379

27

23

19,095

26

23

4,040

3

2

5,405

36

29

2009

18,279

27

23

17,822

27

23

3,187

3

2

4,593

36

29

NHTSA estimates alcohol involvement when alcohol test results are unknown. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Safety Administration. View Archived Tables: DRIVERS IN FATAL CRASHES BY BLOOD ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION (BAC) AND VEHICLE TYPE, 1998-2008

Sources


The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law. See Terms of Use.

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