The Impact of Speeding on Motorcycle Crashes and Fatalities

Speeding is something so common that people don’t even try to hide it. When they talk about speeding, they talk about how much they go over the limit—not if they do. While speeding is dangerous for anyone on the road, it has a particularly profound impact on motorcyclists’ safety. Not only are motorcyclists more likely to be involved in crashes, but those crashes are also more likely to be fatal. Is speeding a factor?

If you have been injured in a motorcycle crash that was someone else’s fault, you could be entitled to compensation. Find out now by calling Peake & Fowler at 803-788-4370.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcyclists are obviously more likely to be hurt in a collision—in fact, they are listed as “vulnerable roadway users” in South Carolina crash statistics. In 2020 alone, there were 83,000 motorcyclist injuries, per the Insurance Information Institute.

When you compare accident rates to other forms of transportation, the results are alarming. The National Safety Council reports that motorcycles only account for 3% of all registered vehicles and less than 1% of vehicle miles traveled. Despite that, they account for 14% of all traffic fatalities in the United States. Death numbers and rates per 100 million miles traveled have ramped up in recent years, hinting at an alarming trend.

Even if you look specifically at South Carolina statistics, it’s clear that there are significant safety issues with motorcyclists. One section of the state’s data focuses on whether the motorcyclist or the other motorist contributed to a collision. Across all accidents, motorcyclists did not contribute to the crash 63% of the time. Other motorists did cause the crash 61% of the time.

How Speeding Contributes to Motorcycle Collisions

There are several consistent issues you’ll see across motorcycle accident statistics. One of those is helmet use. Helmet use has leveled off in recent years, despite significant public education efforts to increase these numbers. In South Carolina, only riders below the age of 21 are legally required to wear helmets.

Speeding is another factor that is present in many motorcycle collisions. Per the NHTSA, a crash is considered speed-related if the rider was cited with a speeding offense or if the police officer indicated that racing, speeding, or driving too fast for conditions was a factor in the crash. In 32% of all fatal motorcycle crashes, the rider was speeding at the time of the collision. In comparison, just 18% of passenger vehicle drivers and 7% of large truck drivers were speeding when they crashed.

This aligns with other motorcycle accident statistics. In 23% of fatal motorcycle accidents in 2017, the rider collided with a fixed object. In comparison, just 16% of passenger vehicles involved in fatal accidents hit a fixed object. When a rider loses control of their bike due to speeding, the risk of hitting a stationary object is much higher.

Of course, this doesn’t even touch accidents caused by other drivers speeding. Drivers of passenger vehicles speed on a regular basis, and when they do, motorcyclists are more likely to be injured. Consider a basic rear-end accident. If a driver is speeding and struggles to stop in time at a red light, they could cause significant damage to the car in front of them. However, if the vehicle waiting at the stoplight is a motorcycle, the rider will fare far worse.

Even at low speeds, they risk being thrown off of their bike into the intersection, where they could be run over by other drivers. The same can happen with sideswipe collisions, head-on crashes, and any other type of crash. Whether the person speeding is the motorcyclist or the driver of the passenger vehicle, serious injuries are likely. Potential injuries include broken bones, abrasions and road rash, sprained and strained muscles, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries.

Fight for Compensation with Peake & Fowler

With the right legal team by your side, you can demand the compensation you’re owed. Don’t let a negligent driver leave you with medical debt and no income. Get started now by setting up a free consultation with Peake & Fowler—you can contact us online or call us at 803-788-4370.