Riding a motorcycle is supposed to feel freeing. You have less between you and the environment around you. Motorcycles save money on gas, and you can take them more places.

What is troubling, though, is how often people are hurt while riding. Did you know that 5,172 motorcyclists and their passengers died in crashes in 2017, according to the National Safety Council? Despite making up only .6% of all vehicular miles traveled in the United States, motorcyclists made up 14% of the total traffic fatalities that year.

Who gets killed in motorcycle crashes?

In the majority of cases, it’s men who die in motorcycle crashes, making up 91% of all victims. Approximately 28% of riders who passed away were impaired by alcohol in 2017.

What makes it so easy for drivers to hit motorcyclists?

One of the reasons is because motorcycles are relatively small compared to other vehicles. Drivers just don’t always see them, and once they do, it may be too late to stop.

Another reason that these crashes happen is because of the different way in which motorcyclists move. They have a better ability to move back and forth in lane and to drive in narrower areas. Drivers need to account for those movements to prevent motorcycle crashes.

Finally, many drivers are distracted. This leads to a significant risk of collisions of all types, not just with motorcyclists.

While people often think it’s teens and young adults who suffer more fatalities in these motorcycle crashes, it’s actually motorcyclists who are 50 or older who made up 36% of all fatalities.

As you can see, the roads aren’t always safe for motorcyclists, and there are real risks. If you intend to ride, do your best to be aware of your surroundings. If you get hit, then you may want to look into filing a claim.