Last Updated: September 12, 2022
The latest motorcycle accidents statistics for the UK show that the number of accidents has decreased significantly in the past year. And the number of fatal accidents is decreasing year by year. But despite this, the numbers are still concerning. So we need to consider all the factors that may contribute to an unfortunate outcome.
Intriguing Motorcycle Accidents Statistics
- 21,000 motorbike accidents occur in the UK each year.
- In 2020, there was a 30% drop in fatal motorbike accidents.
- 47% of all accidents in the country take place in London.
- Motorcyclists are 62 times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident.
- 80% of accidents involving motorbikes are caused by negligence.
- Those aged between 25 and 59 are most likely to be killed or seriously injured.
- Friday is the most dangerous day for accidents.
- 92% of all motorbike crash victims are men.
Number of Accidents
The UK—much like the rest of the world—is experiencing a large number of motorcycle accidents, which often result in death or serious injuries. Consider the following stats and how they’ve changed over time.
#1 There are 1.27 million motorcycles registered in the UK
At the end of 2020, there were 1.27 million motorcycles registered in the UK—approximately the same number as the previous year. These numbers show that motorcyclists weren’t adversely affected by the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis.
#2 Approximately 21,000 accidents occur in the UK each year
The number of motorbike accidents in the UK amounts to 21,000 per year. Some accidents result in serious injury, while others are slight accidents. Regardless, the number of motorcycle accidents compared to the total number of car accidents in the UK is astounding.
#3 The number of those killed and seriously injured in accidents in 2020 was 4,790
Between June 2019 and June 2020, the number of people killed or seriously injured was 4,790—more than 1,000 less than the 5,817 between July 2018 and June 2019.
#4 In 2020, there was a 30% drop in fatal accidents
The number of motorbike deaths in the UK decreased significantly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with a 30% drop in fatal accidents. Interestingly, even before the pandemic, there was a slight decrease in motorcycle casualties.
#5 In April 2020, there was a 60% reduction in motorcycle-related injuries
Since the pandemic, there has been a gradual decrease in the number of accidents, fatalities, and motorcycle-related injuries in the UK. For example, in March 2020, there was a 25% decrease in accidents, but the peak was in April at 60%.
#6 London experiences the most significant number (47%) of motorbike crashes in the country
Some 47% of all motorcycle-related accidents happened in London, making it the No.1 motorcycle accident hotspot. But even though it has the highest accident numbers in the country, London still has the lowest number of fatalities.
Probability & Causes
What are the chances of being in a motorcycle accident? What can decrease (or increase) the possibility of this happening? What are some of the most common causes for such accidents, and can you prevent them?
#7 Motorcyclists are 62 times more likely to be in a fatal accident
The number of motorcycle deaths in the UK is significantly higher than that of other types of vehicles. Motorcyclists are 62 times more likely to suffer road deaths than car drivers, often due to the lack of protection surrounding motorcycles.
#8 The accident rate for motorcyclists is 6,042 per billion miles travelled
The accident rate for motorbikes is exceptionally high, with 6,042 per billion miles travelled. Unfortunately, the fatality rate is also very high at 116.9 per billion miles compared to the fatality rate for cars at 1.9 per billion miles travelled.
#9 Approximately 80% of accidents are caused by negligence
Road accident statistics for the UK show that 80% of accidents involving motorcycles are due to negligence. But this is not only due to the failure of the riders or other drivers involved in the accident. Highway defects, debris, and potholes neglected by governmental authorities are often the cause of accidents.
#10 Most accidents (83%) happen in excellent weather conditions
(MCE Insurance, Sorry Mate)
Surprisingly, 83% of all accidents happen in excellent weather conditions—more accidents happen in dry conditions than wet. The worst road conditions relating to accidents are due to oil and diesel spills.
#11 Cars pose the most significant threat for motorcyclists
Motorbike accident statistics for the UK reveal that cars are the most significant threat for motorcyclists. Cars were involved in 84% of road casualties and 71% of fatalities. The most cited reasons for accidents were a failure in looking to yield and poor turning or manoeuvring.
#12 Alcohol is often involved in a motorcycle accident
Alcohol levels are often high among motorcyclists involved in accidents. But the number of drivers who have failed an alcohol test has been decreasing in recent years. This number reached its peak in 2003 when 510 riders failed or refused to do the test, while 2019 stats show that only 181 riders failed or refused the test.
Other Accident-Determining Factors
We’ve considered the most common causes behind motorbike crashes, but the following other factors may also influence the probability of an accident.
#13 Motorcyclists between 25 and 59 years old are most likely to be killed or seriously injured in motorbike accidents
Age plays a significant role in motorbike accidents. Motorcyclists between the ages of 25 and 59 are most likely to die or suffer a serious injury. Those aged 20 to 24 are also expected to experience severe injuries in motorbike accidents.
#14 The most dangerous time of the day for accidents is between 16:00 and 19:00
Motorcycle accident statistics reveal that the probability of accidents increases during rush hour—riders are most at risk between 16:00 and 19:00. But this time is not only dangerous for motorcyclists. UK road accident stats show that many car accidents occur during rush hour as well.
#15 Bikers didn’t use eye protection in 73% of accidents
Some 73% of riders involved in accidents didn’t use the necessary protective equipment, especially eye protection. As a result, the effects of the wind on unprotected eyes can cause delayed hazard detection, leading to an accident.
#16 More than half (58%) of all accidents occur on 50 to 125cc motorcycles
Motorcycle statistics show that 58% of all accidents happen on 50 to 125cc motorcycles, indicating that powerful motorcycles are not always involved in accidents.
#17 Friday is the most dangerous day for accidents
(MCE Insurance, Sally Morin)
Friday is the most dangerous day for accidents, as traffic volumes are higher at the end of the workweek. And rush hour is especially hazardous on this day. Most fatal bike crashes (42%) occur on weekends between 15:00 and midnight.
#18 Two-thirds of accidents happen at a junction
Two-thirds of all accidents involving motorcycles occur at a junction. Some 64% of all reported incidents in 2019 regarded a junction accident when a motorcycle was either slowing down or stopping. In other cases, the biker was waiting for a right turn or already turning right.
#19 Most motorbike accidents occur on urban roads
(Department for Transport)
Stats on the motorcycle crash topic reveal that most (66%) casualties happen on urban roads. This should come as no surprise since most motorcycle traffic is typically concentrated on this type of road. Additionally, most (72%) injured motorists are found on urban streets, 27% of injuries are on rural roads, and only 1% on motorways.
A Few More Facts
Before wrapping up the stats on this topic, consider a few more following facts on motorbikes and motorcycle accidents.
#20 A motorcyclist spends 176 hours/year on a motorbike
Motorcycle statistics show that the average biker spends 176 hours riding on 400 trips and 4,000 miles per year.
#21 Head injuries are the most common cause of death of motorcyclists
The leading cause of death in a motorbike accident is a head injury, which could be prevented by wearing a helmet. But the most common non-lethal injury among bike riders is a lower limb injury, such as a leg fracture.
#22 Nearly all (92%) crash victims are male
Data on motorcycle deaths reveal that most victims of motorbike accidents are men—92% of all victims (drivers and passengers) were male.
#23 Most accidents occur at 30 miles per hour
An accident is most likely to occur at 30mph—meaning that speed doesn’t always play a prominent role in a motorbike accident.
Motorcycle accidents are an unwanted but common occurrence in the UK. Fortunately, awareness of motorcycle safety usage is on the rise, and the number of fatal crashes is steadily declining. And we expect to see even fewer of these tragedies in the future.
Motorcycles account for only 1% of the total traffic in the UK, but they also account for 19% of road casualties. The latest numbers show that there are 21,000 such accidents per year in the UK.
Negligence is the most common cause of motorbike accidents. Other common causes include speeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Motorcycle accidents statistics show that the most common cause of death among motorists is a head injury, which is most likely to happen when a car strikes a motorcycle head-on.