In 2012, motorcycles made up 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the United States and accounted for only 0.7 percent of all vehicle miles traveled. Yet motorcyclist fatalities accounted for 15 percent of total vehicle related fatalities. Motorcyclist fatalities increased from 4,612 in 2011 to 4,957 in 2012; and injuries also increased from 81,000 in 2011 to 93,000 in 2012.
Trends accompanying the rising motorcyclist death toll include a dramatic increase in motorcycle ownership, particularly by riders over 40, along with changes in other factors such as motorcycle size and rider experience. The rate of increase in fatalities has outpaced the rate of increase in motorcycle registrations, and the death and injury rates among middle-aged motorcycle riders have increased more rapidly.
The Federal Highway Administration is committed to identifying effective motorcycle safety countermeasures, promoting roadway maintenance and design practices that account for motorcycle-specific safety concerns, and maintaining a research program that supports an improved motorcycle riding environment on American highways.