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Do millennials crash motorcycles more often?

Motorcycle riding is admittedly a riskier way to travel when compared to passenger cars. Motorcycles expose their riders to a variety of risks that car drivers do not have to face.

When it comes to risk-taking, conventional wisdom holds that the younger a driver is, the more likely he or she is to take a risk or drive in a way that's unsafe. That is also the generally held belief about people who ride motorcycles as opposed to car drivers. Is it true that younger motorcycle riders, such as those in the millennial generation (which the Pew Research Center considers as those born between 1981 and 1996), are more likely to get into a crash?

Motorcycle crash statistics

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on 2015 motorcycle crashes, motorcycle fatalities are 29 times more frequent than passenger car crash fatalities. This, despite the fact that motorcycles made up only three percent of registered vehicles. The data also said that injuries occurred five times more frequently to motorcycle riders than to drivers or passengers in cars. 

However, when it comes to age, the figures do not necessarily point to a high level among millennials specifically. In fact, over half (54%) of all riders who died in 2015 were age 40 and over. This was an increase for that age group over the 10 preceding years. Therefore, this data shows that as the population ages, the crash rate among the 40-and-older group is also increasing.

Serious injuries due to motorcycle crashes

Motorcyclists are at a higher risk for catastrophic injuries while riding, due to the very nature of the motorcycling experience. Less physical protection plays one role in motorcycle crash injuries. Another important factor, however, is that drivers are not often cautious or courteous in sharing the road with motorcyclists. Various accidents occur from a lack of visibility and left-turn accidents. Serious injuries, such as head trauma, brain injuries, spinal injuries, and broken/fractured bones, are all often the result of a motorcycle accident.

In short, when it comes to age, statistics show that riders 40 and over are more likely to have a motorcycle crash. However, anyone who crashes on a motorcycle is more likely to suffer a serious injury.

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