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Virginia motorcycle accident injury and fatality statistics paint a sobering picture. Motorcyclists and their passengers lack the protection that a car or truck provides.

They are more vulnerable to weather and road conditions than drivers in closed vehicles. They are also harder for other drivers to see and less stable than four-wheeled vehicles.

Sadly, this increased vulnerability often leads to disproportionately severe outcomes. 

In 2021, motorcyclists were about 24 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and four times more likely to be injured per vehicle miles traveled.

However, recognizing the dangers can contribute to avoiding accidents and reducing motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities. Every life saved is a step toward a safer, more caring Virginia. 

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident in the Richmond, Virginia area, contact the motorcycle accident lawyers at River Run Law today. 

Motorcycle Accident Injury and Fatality Statistics

In 2022, there were 2,053 motorcycle crashes on Virginia roads.

Given that motorcycles make up only 3% of registered vehicles nationwide, it’s clear that motorcycle accidents constitute a small but significant proportion of the state’s total traffic accidents. So let’s take a closer look at an accident breakdown.

Motorcycle Accident Injury Statistics

In 2022, Virginia motorcycle accidents injured 1,590 people. Several factors contributed to these high injury rates. Lack of helmet use, high speeds, and alcohol impairment are among the leading causes.

Moreover, 76% of motorcycle accidents involve a motorcyclist being hit from the front rather than rear-ended, increasing the odds of injury.

And in approximately two-thirds of these accidents, the other vehicle’s driver violated the motorcyclist’s right of way, underscoring the importance of broader awareness and respect for motorcyclists on the road.

Motorcycle Accident Fatality Statistics

Even though motorcycles constitute just 3% of all registered vehicles, they are accountable for over 5% of highway-related fatalities.

In fact, the chance of dying in a motorcycle accident is approximately 30 times higher than in a car. Nationally, 6,084 motorcyclists died in crashes in 2021, most occurring in summer.

In Virginia in 2022, 115 motorcyclists died on Virginia roads, and unsurprisingly, May and June were the deadliest months.

Also not surprising is that drivers and passengers between 21 and 30 are the most likely to be killed in a Virginia motorcycle accident.

These Virginia motorcycle accident injury and fatality statistics expose the grim reality of motorcycle accidents in the state, proving that even a small error or lapse in judgment can have fatal consequences.

As a community, we must acknowledge this and collectively work toward creating safer roads for everyone.

Car vs. Motorcycle Accident Statistics

In comparison to car accidents, motorcycle accidents are significantly fewer in number. However, that could be in part due to the fact that there are far fewer motorcycles on the road than other types of vehicles.

In 2022, there were 118,311 passenger vehicle accidents, which accounted for 96.6% of all traffic crashes. But despite the lower number of crashes, motorcycle accidents can be deadlier than car accidents.

For example, motorcycles generally do not have airbags. Only a few types of motorcycles have airbags. All cars have this safety feature.

Also, a car occupant is protected by the car itself, which provides a barrier when another vehicle or solid object collides with the car.

A motorcyclist has no protection from doors or a roof. So the damage would be much more devastating if another vehicle or solid object hits a motorcycle.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that motorcycle drivers were over 20 times more likely to die in a crash than someone in a passenger vehicle. Motorcyclists were also four times more likely to be injured in a collision than passengers in a car.

Motorcycle Accident & Negligence

Motorcycle accident claims are based on negligence. To succeed, you must provide the following four elements:

  • Duty,
  • Breach,
  • Causation, and
  • Damages.

All drivers on the road have a duty to drive with reasonable care. That duty can be breached by acts such as disobeying traffic laws, distracted driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you can connect this breach directly to your injuries and losses, you will likely succeed in your negligence claim.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, you can file a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

Personal Injury Claim for Motorcycle Accident

In 2022, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported 1,677 motorcycle occupants were injured. This accounts for 2.8% of all traffic injuries. Another 762 occupants were seriously injured.

This counts for 10.7% of all serious traffic injuries. This includes both motorcycle drivers and motorcycle passengers.

Injuries from a motorcycle accident can include the following:

  • Broken or fractured bones,
  • Muscle injuries,
  • Burns,
  •  Lacerations,
  • Cuts and bruises,
  • Internal bleeding,
  • Whiplash,
  • Broken ribs,
  • Spinal cord injuries,
  • Amputation,
  • Disfigurement, and
  • Traumatic brain injuries.

Head injuries are common in motorcycle accidents. Regarding motorcycle accident head injury statistics, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that a motorcyclist without a helmet is 15% more likely to injure their head than a motorcyclist with a helmet.

Motorcyclists without a helmet are 40% more likely to harm their heads fatally. Motorcyclists reduce their risk of death from an accident by 37% when they wear a helmet.

Wrongful Death Claim for Motorcycle Accidents

If a loved one was killed in a motorcycle accident, you would bring a wrongful death claim against the negligent party.

In 2022, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported 111 motorcyclists were killed. This includes motorcycle drivers and passengers.

These motorcycle fatalities account for 11% of all traffic fatalities. Notice that motorcycle accidents account for 1.7% of all traffic crashes but 11% of all traffic fatalities.

Contact River Run Law if your loved one died in a motorcycle accident. If the other party was at fault, we can help get justice for your loved one.

Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

The same causes of car crashes can cause motorcycle accidents. In 2022, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles found the following common causes of motorcycle accidents:

  •  Improperly changing lanes;
  • Avoiding other vehicles;
  • Avoiding pedestrians;
  • Failing to yield;
  • Following too close;
  • Hitting someone and leaving the scene, also known as hit-and-run;
  • Parking illegally or improperly;
  • Backing up improperly;
  • Passing improperly;
  • Turning improperly;
  • Not passing when left of center;
  • Failing to turn on your lights;
  • Running traffic lights; and
  • Driving too fast.

Cautious driving and abiding by traffic laws are part of a driver’s duty to others on the roadways. If you think the party who harmed you breached their duty and did one of the above acts, then you may be entitled to compensation.

River Run Law: Virginia’s Skilled Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

River Run Law provides personalized, hands-on legal advocacy bigger firms just don’t offer.

Our skilled Richmond motorcycle accident attorneys have won millions for clients injured in motorcycle accidents and will work tirelessly to secure the settlement you need and deserve—all while keeping you in the loop 24/7.

We’ve tried numerous cases across the Commonwealth and dedicated our careers to righting wrongs.

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, contact us now at 804-993-9233 for a free consultation, and let us show you how we can help.

Author Photo

Brooke Alexander

Brooke graduated from the University of Richmond School of Law after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Brooke worked for five years in private practice with a law firm specializing in insurance defense litigation before becoming the trial litigator for Allstate Insurance Company in the metro Richmond area.

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