According to a recently-released report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), injuries and deaths from motorcycle accidents in the United States cost approximately $16 billion in 2010.
It is estimated that motorcyclists can be as much as 30 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than drivers of other types of vehicles are. This can be attributed to the fact that motorcycles don’t provide any physical protection to riders in the way that a regular motor vehicle does.
According to the GOA’s report, the actual cost of motorcycle accidents is likely to be higher than the reported $16 billion. Because motorcyclists are not afforded much physical protection, their injuries after an accident are likely to be much more severe than someone in a traditional motor vehicle. As a result, victims of these accidents often require long-term care that, while being very expensive, can be harder to track and report.
2010 Motorcycle Accident Statistics
During 2010 – the year for which the GOA’s report on motorcycle accident reflects – there were an approximately 82,000 reported injuries that resulted from motorcycle accidents and a total of 4,502 deaths.
The GOA estimates that the average cost for a fatal motorcycle accident is approximately $1.2 million. The cost of injuries from collisions is much more difficult to track because the severity of injuries can vary, but the report estimates a range from $2,500 to $1.4 million.
Interestingly enough, the GOA claims that motorcycle helmet laws are the only statistically proven strategy to effectively reduce the risks of injury and death for motorcyclists. Experts estimate that helmet laws reduce the risk of death for motorcyclists by as much as 39 percent.
The report concluded that an estimated 1,550 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by helmet use in 2010.