Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Tennessee Personal Injury Lawyer
Hablamos Español Local 865-500-HURT Toll Free 866-862-4855
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Motorcycle Accident Statistics Don’t Look Good


When you look at accident statistics, it seems like all of them are increasing over the previous years even despite a shutdown in 2020 because of COVID. Pedestrian accidents, car accidents and trucking accidents are on the rise, but there’s another category of accident that’s on the rise, and has been for many years: motorcycle accidents.

More Accidents

The COVID shutdown of 2020 didn’t seem to slow down the number of motorcycle accidents on America’s roadways; there were more motorcycle fatalities, about 6,000 of them, in 2020 than there had been since the 1970s.

What makes motorcycle accident fatality rates so stunning is how disproportionate they are to the overall number of motorcycle riders. About 15% of all fatalities on the roads involved motorcycles–even though motorcycles make up only about 3% of the number of total vehicles on the road.

No License

Many people think that if they are licensed to drive a car, they can drive a motorcycle. That’s just not true. In Tennessee, you must obtain a license or an endorsement to your existing license, allowing you to ride a motorcycle. The license involves a test of knowledge about the rules of the road, and motorcycle safety.

Unfortunately, about a third of all fatal motorcycle accidents involve riders who aren’t licensed to be on motorcycles.

No Helmets

In Tennessee, motorcycle riders are required to wear helmets by law–but many people still refuse to do so. About 2,000 deaths every year involve cyclists who didn’t wear helmets.

If you are injured by even the most careless car driver while on a motorcycle, and you were not wearing a helmet, the negligent driver, and possibly, a jury in trial, will blame you for your own injuries for your failure to wear a helmet.

Speed is a Factor

In almost every analysis of why accidents happen, a major predictor of the amount and severity of accidents is speed; states with highways that have the highest speed limits, tend to have more, and deadlier accidents.

This bears out with motorcycle accidents as well. Excessive speed played a role in motorcycle accidents in about a third of the accidents that were studied.

Types of Accidents

Most motorcycle accidents, about 75% actually happened with the motorcycle being hit from the front, with much fewer accidents being caused by rear end collisions. This would seem to make sense, given how fatal motorcycle accidents tend to be.


Drunk driving is a problem for motorcycles, the same way that it is for car drivers.

About a quarter of all motorcycle accidents involved the use of alcohol, and of those accidents, about 40% were single vehicle accidents. That means that even without a negligent or careless driver to cause an accident, motorcyclists routinely injure and kill themselves, when they drive under the influence of alcohol.

When Accidents Happen

Weekend evenings saw the highest number of motorcycle deaths, probably correlating to rush hour traffic.

The most fatal times of year tend to correlate with weather; the summer months see more motorcycle accidents, while the colder winter months see the fewest. Likewise for rain-although slick roads can cause accidents, fewer motorcycles are on the roadway during wet weather, lowering the number of accidents that happen in rainy conditions.

Call the Knoxville motorcycle accident lawyers at Fox Farley Willis & Burnette, PLLC, today if you were injured in a motorcycle accident.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn
Segment Pixel