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Is it safer to ride a motorcycle or drive a car in New York?

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2023 | Car Accidents

Across the United States, there were about 284 million registered cars compared to 8 million registered motorcycles. Riders of motorcycles are 7.6 times more likely to die in an accident than drivers of cars. Approximately 80% of motorcycle accidents result in a fatality compared to 0.7% of car accidents. About 23,000 people die in car accidents annually compared to nearly 5,000 people riding motorcycles. Your odds of dying in a car accident are one in 93 compared to one in 747 of dying in a motorcycle accident.


Speed is cited as a factor in 33% of all fatal motorcycle accidents compared to 19% of fatal car accidents. By comparison, speed is cited as a factor in 15% of light truck fatalities and 7% of semi accidents.


About 27% of all motorcyclists killed in accidents had a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08. This is the highest rate of any motor vehicle. You might assume that motorcycle riders are younger, but the average age of car drivers and motorcycle riders is 47 years old.

Reckless driving

About 30% of all motor vehicle accident fatalities are caused by reckless driving. Often, these accidents are hazardous for motorcycle riders because car drivers forget to check their blind spots when changing lanes, so they hit motorcyclists. One of the most dangerous things a motorcyclist can do is lane splitting, where they try to ride between cars stuck in traffic.

Motorcycle riders are more likely than car drivers to be killed in accidents, but you are more likely to be killed in a car wreck because there are more cars than motorcycles on the road.