What are the odds of surviving a motorcycle accident?

What are the odds of surviving a motorcycle accident?

Riding a motorcycle is risky business. Due to lower visibility and less structural protection (compared to other motor vehicles), the consequences you could face in a crash are far more likely to be catastrophic than if you were in another type of motor vehicle. Consider the specific figures: in 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 4,985 motorcyclists died in motorcycle crashes. This figure indicates that motorcyclists were 27 times more likely to die from their crash injuries than passengers traveling in cars (per vehicle miles traveled).

Clearly, the chances of dying in a motorcycle accident are all too high, but what factors impact your odds of surviving in these dire incidents? Let us explore some of the criteria that affect your chances of walking away from a motorcycle accident.

Lifetime Odds

If you examine the question “What are my chances of dying in a motorcycle accident in my lifetime?”, the short answer as of 2019 is roughly 1 in 899. However, there are a number of factors that could improve or dampen your odds. Read on to find out more.

Wearing a Helmet

As you might suspect, wearing a helmet significantly increases your chance of surviving a motorcycle crash. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), one of the leading causes of death following a motorcycle accident are head and neck injuries. Helmets do an excellent job of protecting your head and therefore reducing head injuries. Wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle can actually decrease your chances of dying in a collision by up to 39%.

Helmet laws can also play a role in riders’ likelihood to wear helmets and reap their protective benefits. In American states with no universal helmet laws, 57% of motorcyclists who died in motorcycle crashes in 2017 were not wearing a helmet compared to only 8% of in states that do have universal helmet laws. The WHO does note, however, that the probability of a helmet saving your life depends on the speed at which the vehicle was traveling, which brings us to our next point.


The WHO also states that the higher the speed of travel, the more likely it is that motorcyclists will sustain fatal injuries if they do get into an accident, even if the motorcyclist is wearing a helmet. The faster you are traveling, the less time you and other drivers have to react to external elements that could cause a crash. Speeding is one of the leading causes of motorcycle crashes and has a high likelihood of leading to fatal injuries.

If you have been fortunate enough to walk away from your accident, that does not mean that your journey is over. You may still have suffered extreme injuries and you may therefore be entitled to compensation to cover your medical bills and emotional damages. Request a free consultation with an experienced Orange County motorcycle accident lawyer to see how we can help fight for your rights.

It is difficult to gauge what your exact chances are of surviving a motorcycle accident. However, it is important to note that your odds of surviving are much lower if you are not wearing a helmet or if you are speeding. If you do happen to suffer from a motorcycle crash and you are lucky enough to survive, you must immediately seek legal counsel to set yourself on the path to recovery and a better future.