May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 1 - May 31

Location: Nationwide
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) urges vehicle drivers and motorists to remember that Motorcyclist Safety is Everyone's Safety. Safe driving and riding practices and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalites and injuries on the nation's highways.

Motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in traffic crashes and fatalities. In 2020, per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists were about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and 4 times more likely to be injured.

In 2021, there were 5,932 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, an increase of more than 6% from the 5,579 in 2020. An estimated 82,258 motorcyclists were injured, a decline of 2% from the 83,814 motorcyclists injured in 2019. Motorcyclist deaths accounted for 14% of the total highway fatalities in 2020.

Motorcyclists 55 and older accounted for 27% of motorcyclists killed in 2020. From 2011 to 2020, motorcyclist fatalities among the 55-and-older age group increased by 37%. In 2011, the average age of motorcyclist riders killed in traffic crashes was 42 versus an average 43 in 2020.

In 2011 and 2020, about half of the motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes during the weekend versus the weekday, and the fatalities on weekdays increased by 15%.

NHTSA offers these types for motorcyclists:
  • Observe all traffic laws.
  • Drive and ride defensively.
  • Wear personal protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet with a "FMVSS No. 218 Certified" label. NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,872 motorcyclists in 2017. Another 749 lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets. Learn how to identify a safe, DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Never ride while impaired for distracted. On average, a DUI costs $10,000 and can lead to jail time, loss of your license, and higher insurance rates.
  • Complete rider education courses and ride with a current motorcyce license. In 2020, 36% of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were riding without valid motorcycle licenses.
  • Obey the speed limit: 34% of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding versus 22% for passenger car drivers, 16% for light-truck drivers, and 7% for large-truck drivers. Motorcycle riders 25 to 29 years old involved in fatal crashes had the highest speeding involvement (45%).
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