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Crash Facts: Motorcycles

2018 Motorcycle Riding Season Preliminary Statistics

There have been 41 motorcyclists killed in 39 crashes so far in 2018. There were 53 motorcyclists killed in 52 crashes in 2017.

2018 Rider Deaths Statistics

  • Helmet use

  • 30 riders were not wearing a helmet.

  • 10 riders were wearing a helmet.

  • Helmet use is still pending for 1 of the recent crashes.

  • Single-vehicle crashes vs. Multi-vehicle crashes

  • 23 of the crashes involved only the motorcycle

  • 16 of the crashes involved a motorcycle and another vehicle

  • Motorcycle vs. animal

  • 5 crashes involved the rider colliding with an animal.

  • Passengers killed

  • 2 passengers have died in a motorcycle crash.

  • Motorcycle License Endorsement

  • 28 of the operators had a valid motorcycle license endorsement or permit.

  • 8 of the operators did not have a valid motorcycle license endorsement or permit.

  • Licensing status is still pending for 3 of the recent crashes.

  • Negotiating a curve

  • 14 of the crashes involved a rider negotiating a curve.

  • Rider deaths by age:

  • Under 20: 1

  • 20’s: 4

  • 30’s: 5

  • 40’s: 7

  • 50’s: 13

  • 60’s: 10

  • 70’s: 1

  • 80’s: 0

  • Rural vs. urban area

  • 20 of the crashes happened in a rural area.

  • 19 of the crashes happened in an urban area.

Other statistics:

  • The summer months (June, July, August) tend to be the time when there are the greater number of motorcycle fatalities.

  • The record for the most motorcycle fatalities was set in 1980, when 121 motorcyclists were killed in 112 crashes.

  • Motorcycle statistics from past years can be found in Crash Facts. The publications are posted online:

Safety messages:

  • Public safety officials urge motorcyclists to wear protective gear, which includes a DOT-approved helmet and brightly-colored protective gear for visibility and protection.

  • Riders should be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding and keeping their speed in check.

  • Riders should never drink and ride.

  • Riders should always ride within their skill set, use good judgment and maintain a 2-second following distance.

  • Riders should take a training course every couple years to dust off and improve their riding skills.

  • There are courses available for advanced riders, not just beginners. Training is available April through September, with some courses running into October. Riders can find a training site and register online at

  • Motorists can help prevent motorcycle deaths by looking twice for motorcycles before entering a roadway or changing lanes.

  • Motorists should give riders room, check blind spots, pay attention and drive at safe speeds. Motorcycles are smaller, so their speed and distance is more difficult to judge.

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