How Common Are Motorcycle Accidents in Texas?

Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents occur throughout Texas on a daily basis.  Our Arlington motorcycle accident lawyers analyze recent statistics from the Texas Department of Transportation and other sources in order to determine how common motorcycle crashes, fatalities, and injuries are in the state of Texas.  These statistics reveal that your likelihood of being injured or killed in a motorcycle accident depends on factors like where you ride, how old you are, and whether you wear a helmet.

How Many Texas Motorcycle Accidents Were There in 2015?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), 473,162 passenger cars were involved in Texas car accidents in 2015.  By comparison, only 8,181 motorcycles were involved in crashes (or 8,212, if you also include the 31 police motorcycles in accidents).
Even though far fewer motorcycles were involved in accidents than passenger cars, motorcycle accidents produced a disproportionately high number of fatalities.  Out of the 473,162 passenger cars that got into crashes, 1,703 were involved in fatal accidents, which is less than 1%.  By comparison, 5.5% of motorcycles (454 out of 8,212) were involved in fatal crashes, with a total fatality count of 459 deaths (436 drivers and 23 passengers).  These statistics paint a stark picture of just how dangerous motorcycling can be compared to driving or riding in a car.
TxDOT also studies helmet use as a factor in motorcycle accidents.  According to TxDOT statistics, 201 out of the 459 fatal crash victims (about 44%) were wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.  Another 240 riders (about 52%) were not wearing their helmets.  However, the helmet status of 18 people could not be determined.
Helmet use patterns were similar among the 1,887 people who sustained serious but non-fatal (“incapacitating”) injuries.  901 out of 1,887 injury victims (nearly 48%) were wearing helmets at the time of the crash.  By comparison, 882 people (nearly 47%) were not wearing helmets.
Regardless of injury severity, most of the motorcycles that were involved in accidents crashed in urban settings.  Out of the 8,212 motorcycles that were involved in crashes last year, a total of 5,840 (about 71%) were in accidents on urban roads.  The remaining 29% – a total of 2,372 motorcycles – got into vehicular accidents on rural Texas roads.
TxDOT does not publish data on motorcycle accidents by county or city.  However, cities with large numbers of overall auto accident fatalities included:

  • Arlington – 27 fatalities (241 incapacitating injuries)
  • Dallas – 173 fatalities (891 incapacitating injuries)
  • Fort Worth – 93 fatalities (682 incapacitating injuries)
  • Houston – 203 fatalities (1,310 incapacitating injuries)

How Age Affects the Statistical Likelihood of Being Killed in a Fatal Motorcycle Crash

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Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

It is difficult to say whether motorcycling fatalities are becoming more or less common as a whole, because the data fluctuates with time, rising and falling in waves.  According to data presented by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), fatalities increased from 1975 to 1980, then generally declined until 2000, when they started to become more common again until declining after 2008.
During the period spanning 1975 to 2014, the worst year for motorcycle fatalities was 2008, which reached a peak of 5,112 motorcycling deaths.  Conversely, the safest year on record was 1997, with a low of just over 2,050 fatalities – less than half as many as 2008.  There were 4,295 fatalities recorded in 2014, the most recent year for which the IIHS has data on motorcycling deaths.
These patterns shift again when you isolate certain demographics by age.  For example, even though overall motorcycle fatalities have been increasing and decreasing by turn, fatalities among riders aged 29 or younger tended to decline from 1975 through 2010, though the numbers have gradually crept upward since then.
Conversely, riders aged 50 or older have seen the exact opposite trend, with fatalities steadily increasing from 1975 through 2014.  Riders in their forties have followed a similar pattern, though fatalities in that age group leveled off around the year 2000, rather than continuing to increase.
These figures seem to indicate that deadly motorcycle crashes are becoming less common for young adults, but more common for middle-aged adults and seniors.  Oddly, fatality figures for riders in their thirties have remained relatively stable since the 1970s, while all other age groups have fluctuated.

Call Our Arlington, TX Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation

If you or one of your loved ones was injured in a motorcycle accident in Arlington, Dallas, Houston, or Fort Worth, turn to an Arlington TX personal injury lawyer of Queenan Law for compassionate support and aggressive legal representation.  Our product liability attorneys have over 20 years of experience representing injured bikers and passengers who were injured in crashes caused by defective motorcycle parts, careless drivers, road debris, and other hazards.
We may be able to help you get compensated for your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses.  To set up a free legal consultation, call Queenan Law right away at (817) 476-1797.