• Motorcycle users are the road user group with the highest rate of accidents and casualties per mile travelled. Compared to car occupants, motorcycle users in 2014 were:

    • Approximately 24 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident (per mile ridden).

    • Over 60 times more likely to be seriously injured in a reported road accident.

  • There were a total of 1,792 fatalities in road accidents in 2016. Of these, 319 (18 per cent) were motorcycle fatalities. This represents a decrease of 3 per cent in motorcycle fatalities from 2015 and is the lowest number of motorcycle user deaths recorded.

(RRCGB, DfT, 2017)

  • The fatality rate for motorcycle riders was 122 deaths per billion miles in 2014. This compares to a fatality rate of 1.8 deaths per billion miles for car drivers.

  • In 2016, men made up around 91 per cent of all motorcycle user casualties.

(RRCGB, DfT, 2017)

  • A significant number (28 per cent) of non-fatal motorcyclist casualties are younger riders (aged up to 25 years old) on smaller-engine motorcycles (up to 125 cc). However, the peak age of motorcyclist fatalities are older riders (aged between 31 and 55) on large motorcycles with engine sizes over 125 cc (accounting for 43 per cent of all fatalities).

(RRCGB, DfT, 2017)

  • Over two-thirds of motorcycle fatalities in 2016 occurred in rural areas, compared with under half for serious motorcycle casualties and a third for slight motorcycle casualties. Of all the motorcycles involved in reported accidents in 2016, 66 per cent were at a junction.

  • Analysis of accident data shows that motorcycle accidents have somewhat different characteristics to accidents involving other classes of road user: in particular they include junction accidents (including ‘looked but failed to see’ accidents), accidents involving loss of control on bends, and accidents attributed to motorcyclists more frequent overtaking/passing opportunities.

  • A systematic review examining the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets in reducing injury found that motorcycle helmets reduced the risk of death and head injury in motorcyclists who crashed. Helmets were estimated:

    • To reduce the risk of death by 42 per cent.

    • To reduce the risk of head injury by 69 per cent.

(Liu et al, 2008)

  • Motorcycle protective clothing has been associated with a significantly reduced risk of injury in crashes, particularly when body armour was fitted. Compared to those wearing non-motorcycle clothing, motorcyclists wearing motorcycle protective clothing fitted with body armour were significantly less likely to sustain injuries to the protected areas. The risk of any foot or ankle injuries was reduced by 53 per cent by non-motorcycle boots when compared to shoes or trainers, a risk reduction similar to motorcycle boots.

(de Rome et al, 2011)


  • Date Added: 03 Apr 2012, 08:19 AM
  • Last Update: 11 Dec 2017, 05:20 PM