Motorcyclists 27x more likely to die than auto drivers

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I have always travelled by paraphrasing Orwell when it comes to motorised personal transport.

Two wheels bad, four wheels good.


One’s a giant metal cage and the other you’re just kind of flying naked, are these #s surprising?


Pretty sure we are all 100% likely to die. I don’t think someone can be 27x more likely than tat…


I think riding was probably much safer 20 years ago before drivers were distracted by texting and phone calls. It’s amazing how inattentive people have become behind the wheel. I sold my motorcycle about five years ago because riding in the city seemed to get more dangerous every day. Riding out in the country on the rural 2-lane roads was another story altogether though.


Wear a helmet, don’t ride drunk or high, receive proper training, and don’t speed.

And know the stats. You can minimize the risk, but you can’t eliminate it. Ride a motorcycle only if you understand those risks, do what’s within your power, and accept it. The risks are different, but this also applies to bicycle commuters, which I’ve also done.

In B4 smug automobile drivers preening about their superior armor. Oh shit, too late. Well, we’re watching out for you with your goddamn phones because half the time we’re killed by the blasé fuckers operating two-ton gas guzzlers and more interested in sending emojis than not killing someone.


But they have 27 times as much fun. Fair trade-off?


Somebody check my math:

27x more likely to die on a motorcycle.

But there are mitigating measures:

Speeding is involved in 1/3 of accidents. So don’t speed and we are down to 18x more likely to die on a motorcycle.

Anti-lock breaks also reduce fatalities by 1/3, so we’re under 10x more likely to die on a motorcycle.

40% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. So now we are -2x?

By my calculations if you don’t speed, if you wear a helmet, drive drunk, and get a bike with ABS you are twice as safe as riding in a car?

I know that isn’t right, but as a rider that doesn’t speed, that never leaves home without a helmet, jacket, boots, pants, and gloves, and rides a bike with ABS, and doesn’t ride impaired, how much more likely am I to get killed than if I were in my car?


“When I die, I want to die like my grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.”


40% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. So now we are -2x?

Some fraction of those unhelmeted riders would have died even if they were wearing a helmet, so that part is off.

but as a rider that doesn’t speed

Really and truly? Everybody speeds. Doubly so on a bike.

I don’t drink and ride, and am ATGATT, but I know riding is more dangerous than driving, that’s just physics.


Riding on a motorcycle is a big nope from me. I’m not necessarily afraid to learn to ride one, but i’ve seen enough reckless driving in all of the cities i’ve lived in to know that i wouldn’t want to be on one.

Also cliche joke: What’s another name for a motorcycle rider? An organ donor.


i’ve seen enough reckless driving in all of the cities i’ve lived in to know that i wouldn’t want to be on one.

You’re not wrong, but that logic also applies to driving a car. It’s just a question of how much risk you are comfortable with.


Would be nice to see this graphed against years of experience and miles ridden. Most people have accidents when first learning to ride or drive, the difference is that the riding accidents are far more likely to be fatal. If that first year or so learning curve is taken out of the equation that should make a big difference.

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There is overlap – there were people who were speeding, not wearing a helmet, AND drunk.


I hate driving, i only just recently bought a car again after not driving for like 6 years. If i’m going to be on the road with a bunch of other idiots i’d rather be in a car than a bike or motorcycle.


A ship is safer moored in the harbor too, but that’s not what ships are for.


Or why I call them statistics.

But to deedub’s point, why stop at merely being in a car? Why not insist on having a full roll-cage installed in the car for further protection? And a five point safety harness and a full fire suppression system, of course. Oh, and a helmet.

All those things will improve your odds of not dying in a fiery car crash. So if safety is your primary concern, you’re going to have a car with all those safety features, right?



Comes down to cost for me. If the car i had bought came with those exact same features (roll cage and 5 point harness) i would’ve gotten it for sure. But given the choice of a standard car and a standard motorcycle i will take the car.

If someone else feels like driving a motorcycle is worth the added risk then great. I’m not the one on it.


While this is true to some extent - as a bicycle user foremost, I’m well aware of idiot drivers - I’ve yet to see a biker who didn’t overtake me (when driving) while breaking the speed limit and zooming merrily away. None.

Now that spring’s here I see them nearly a year, nearly at 100 kph at the town exit and racing towards the next 50 kph limit 1 km away.

And there’s a certain street near my home where I’m likely to encounter them accelerating well past 30 kph, which I wouldn’t mind at all, if they’d only stay on their side of the road.