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Motorcycle Accident Statistics in the United Kingdom – 2024 Update

Motorcyclists are a small part of the traffic. Yet, they make up a big number of deaths and severe injuries on Great Britain’s roads1. In 2022, 350 motorcyclists lost their lives, and 5,618 suffered serious injuries. Additionally, 10,975 had minor injuries2.

Between 2004 and 2022, the number of motorcyclist deaths dropped by 40%. Serious injuries also fell by 35%. This was while the number of motorcyclists on the road decreased by 10%2. Still, a motorcyclist is much more likely to die in a crash than a car driver1.

From 2018 to 2022, on average, 6 motorcyclists died weekly in Great Britain’s traffic. 104 were left with serious injuries2. In 2021, there were 310 deaths, with 5,264 seriously injured, and 10,264 less seriously hur1. These accidents don’t just mean loss of life and serious harm. They also have a big economic impact. This includes high healthcare costs and a loss in work productivity.

Overview of Motorcycle Accidents in the UK

Motorcycle accidents are a big worry in the United Kingdom. Motorcyclists face serious dangers on the roads. In 2021, 310 motorcyclists died in Great Britain. Over 5,200 were seriously hurt, and more than 10,000 had minor injuries. These numbers show how risky it is for motorcyclists in the UK.

Latest Motorcycle Accident Figures

In 2022, the situation was worse. 350 motorcyclists lost their lives. More than 5,600 were seriously injured, and nearly 11,000 had minor injuries2. Compared to 2019, the number of accidents went up by 4%. There was also a 4% rise in the number of deaths1.

Even though there were fewer motorbikes on the roads between 2004 and 2022, deaths increased. Between 2021 and 2022, deaths jumped by 13% despite only a 12% rise in motorbike traffic2. This shows the growing risk for motorcyclists.

Comparison with Other Road Users

Motorcyclists are at the highest risk, with more accidents and injuries per mile. Government data says motorcyclists are 50 times more likely to die than car drivers. In 2021, over cyclists and pedestrians, motorcyclists had a death rate nearly nine times higher. But compared to car occupants, this rate was almost 40 times higher.

Motorcyclists only make up less than 1% of those on the road. Yet, they represent about 20% of the deaths and serious injuries1. This highlights their extreme vulnerability on the road.

Road User Type   Fatalities (2021)   Serious Injuries (2021)   Slight Injuries (2021)
Motorcyclists   310   5,264   10,000+
Pedestrians   495   5,140   14,144
Cyclists   143   4,353   12,932
Car Occupants   627   8,454   64,656


The table compares casualties among different road users in 2021. It underlines the higher risk that motorcyclists, pedestrians, and cyclists face compared to those in cars.

Clearly, motorcycle accidents are a serious problem in the UK. Motorcyclists are at a much higher risk of death or serious injury than others. It’s vital to work on improving motorcycle safety to address this issue.

Trends in Motorcycle Casualties and Fatalities

The UK saw big improvements in motorbike safety over two decades. From 2004 to 2022, the number of bike riders killed dropped by 40%. It went from 585 to 350 deaths2. At the same time, there was a 35% fall in serious injuries among motorcyclists, even though fewer people were on the roads, down by 10%2.

Between 2004 and 2020, deaths on bikes reduced by 51%. This meant that from 585 fatalities, the number went down to 2853. Injuries also dropped by 48%, with a 22% fall in the number of bikes out on the roads3.

Changes in Motorcycle Accident Rates Over Time

Yet, bikers are still more at risk than other road users. On average, 6 motorcyclists died each week and 104 were badly hurt between 2018 to 20222. The numbers were about the same from 2015 to 2020 as well3. The rate of accidents has dropped by 27% since 20042.

Many factors lead to motorbike accidents. The most common is failing to look properly23. Here are some other key points:

  • 58% of bike rider deaths happened away from a junction or 20 meters of one23
  • 66% of the deaths occurred in rural areas. This is higher than the overall traffic death rate on such roads, which is 41%23
  • 92% of those severely injured or killed were male23

Impact of COVID-19 on Motorcycle Accidents

The COVID-19 outbreak had a big impact on motorcyclists in the UK. In 2020, fewer people were out on their bikes, with a 14% drop in traffic rates3. Yet, they remained at high risk. Although there were fewer accidents, motorcyclists suffered the smallest drop in casualties among all road users. The number of reported accidents went down by 16% to 13,604 in 2020 from the previous year3.

Year   Motorcycle Fatalities   Serious Injuries   Motorcycle Traffic Change
2004   585   –   –
2020   285   48% decrease from 2004   22% decrease from 2004
2022   350   35% decrease from 2004 (adjusted)   10% decrease from 2004


Now, it’s key to keep an eye on how motorcycle accidents change. We must find ways to make biking safer. Knowing these trends helps make our roads safer for bikers through smart policies and work from road safety campaigners.

Motorcycle Accident Statistics UK

The latest stats for motorcycle accidents in the UK are worrying. In 2022, there was a 4% rise in casualties to 16,943. This included 350 deaths among motorcycle users1. Unfortunately, this shows a return to danger on the roads, especially for motorcyclists who are more likely to be badly hurt or killed.

Despite making up less than 1% of traffic, motorbikes in Great Britain are involved in about 20% of all serious incidents. In 2021, 310 motorcyclists lost their lives. Over 5,000 were very badly hurt, and over 10,000 suffered minor injuries1.

From 2004 to 2021, the number of motorcyclist deaths in the UK dropped from 585 to 310, a 47% decrease. Still, in 2021, motorcyclists faced a death rate almost 40 times that of car users.

Year   Motorcyclists Killed   Seriously Injured   Slightly Injured
2022   350   5,618 (adjusted)   10,975 (adjusted)
2021   310   5,264   10,000+
2020   285   4,429 (adjusted)   8,890 (adjusted)


The data also points to some clear trends in motorcycle accidents:

  • Around 39% of motorcycle deaths in the UK happened in collisions with cars.
  • Rural roads in the UK saw 67% of all motorcycle deaths, although only 40% of traffic goes through these areas.
  • Between 2016 and 2021, 35% of motorcycle accidents happened at junctions1.
  • A staggering 92% of motorbike KSI casualties were men3.

In the UK, the major issue in fatal motorbike accidents is ‘Failed to look properly’. This points to a need for all road users to be more careful and attentive. If everyone looks out for each other, we can lower the number of accidents and injuries on our roads.

Age and Gender Distribution of Motorcycle Casualties

In the UK, motorcycle accidents hit some people harder than others. For example, younger riders often face more accidents. In 2017, those between 17 and 24 suffered the most in Great Britain5. In Wales, over 46% of motorcycle accidents in 2016 involved people under 305.

Most Affected Age Groups

Riders under 25 are at a higher risk of being seriously hurt or killed. That was clear back in 2013 with the 16-20 year old age group showing the highest risks5. These younger riders tend to use bikes with less power, like those under 125 cc. They accounted for 57% of serious accidents5. Young males, especially between 16-29 years old, faced a higher risk than others. Even though they traveled less, they made up a large portion of serious accident cases5.

Gender Differences in Motorcycle Accidents

More males have accidents on motorcycles than females. Between 2018 and 2022, 92% of the serious cases were male. Males accounted for most of the riding and the serious injuries. On the other hand, females were much less involved, making up just 6% of these cases5.

Males face a much higher risk than females do on motorcycles. The numbers show this clearly, with a major difference in the accident rates between genders, especially for those aged 25-295.

In 2022, 350 motorcyclists died in the UK, and 5,618 were seriously injured6. The death rate was 123 per billion miles traveled, much higher than for people in cars6. Motorcyclists are a small part of the traffic but make up a big chunk of those who die in accidents5. Riding a motorcycle is much riskier than driving a car, with at least a 57 times higher chance of dying5.

Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

There are many reasons why motorcycle accidents happen. These include mistakes by people, bad weather, and problems with the road or vehicles. Knowing these common causes helps make the roads safer. This can lower the number of people hurt or killed in motorcycle crashes in the United Kingdom.

Human Factors

How riders and drivers behave is very important in motorcycle crashes. The top reason for serious accidents for motorcyclists is not looking carefully2. Other drivers often make this mistake too. Not paying attention, getting distracted, or misjudging the speed of other vehicles can all cause accidents.

Environmental Factors

Weather and road design also have a big impact on accidents. In Wales, most motorcycle crashes happened on clear days. But driving on wet roads is riskier. It can make bikes slide or skid. Also, many serious accidents don’t happen near crossings2. This shows that road curves and hills can be dangerous as well.

Vehicle-related Factors

If a bike isn’t well-kept, it’s more likely to cause an accident. Bad tyres or mechanical issues can make it hard to control. And things like oil spills and rough road surfaces are especially dangerous for bikers. Nearly 40% of deadly crashes involved a bike and a car2. This shows the need for everyone to watch out for each other on the road.

Everyone – from riders to drivers to those who make the rules – needs to join hands. We can make a difference by teaching safe road use, fixing up roads, and teaching drivers to respect motorbikes. Together, these steps can make our streets safer for all.

Types of Injuries Sustained in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcyclists face great risks in accidents due to limited protection offered by bikes. The most common injuries in these crashes are to the head, spine, and bones. Common injuries from motorcycle accidents can change a rider’s life and affect their families greatly.

Head injuries top the list as a leading cause of death in such accidents. In a crash, the rider takes the main hit, often leading to severe head injuries. Helmet use is critical but not a complete shield against TBI or other serious head traumas.

Incidents can also result in spinal injuries. The force of the crash can twist or compress the spine, leading to serious issues like paralysis. Older riders, over 40, face more chest injuries, including severe rib fractures, than younger riders7.

Broken bones are unfortunately common in these accidents. Without the protection of a car surrounding them, riders may hit the road hard. This can lead to fractures in areas like the arms, legs, and pelvis. In the UK in 2021 alone, over 5,000 were seriously hurt and nearly 10,000 had minor injuries.

Injury Type   Prevalence   Severity
Head and brain injuries   High   Severe, often fatal
Spinal injuries   Moderate   Severe, potentially paralysing
Broken and fractured bones   High   Moderate to severe
Skin burns   Moderate   Mild to severe
Muscle damage   High   Mild to moderate


Road rash and burns are serious issues for riders. These occur when a rider skids off the road during an accident. Effects can range from light abrasions to serious burns that need long care and could scar permanently.

Muscle damage is a common result too. The force and shock of a crash can tear or strain muscles. This leads to pain, less movement, and a longer healing process. Between 2004 and 2021, the UK saw big drops in fatalities and serious injuries, showing safety efforts are working. Yet, more needs to be done to keep riders safer.

Geographical Distribution of Motorcycle Accidents

In the UK, where motorcycle accidents happen varies a lot. Certain areas have more incidents and deaths than others. For example, in 2017, nearly half (47%) of all motorcycle accidents happened in London or the Southeast. This shows the extra danger for bikers in these busy places.

Between 2018 and 2022, 66% of motorcycle deaths occurred on rural roads. However, these roads see less traffic (41%). The risks are higher on rural roads because of their twists, turns, and fewer places to see. Surprisingly, while rural roads lead to more deaths, most accidents actually happen in urban areas.

Regions with Highest Motorcycle Accident Rates

Though motorcycle accidents are most common in London and the Southeast, the risk measurement is key. In 2018, for every mile travelled, a motorcyclist in Great Britain was 52 times more likely to die in a crash than a car user. This big gap shows how at-risk motorcyclists are, no matter where they ride.

Urban vs Rural Motorcycle Accidents

The type and danger level of motorcycle accidents change in towns and the countryside. In 2018, even though only 29% of accidents were on rural roads, they caused 64% of deaths. This means, while cities have more accidents, rural areas are more dangerous for motorcyclists.

Cities bring their own risks like traffic jams and lots of crossroads. Country roads, however, have their dangers, like sharp turns and few chances to overtake. An alarming 8% of motorcycle accidents in 2018 happened while the biker was turning a corner. This shows a big risk for bikers in these situations8.

Although motorways see lots of traffic, they are safer than city or country roads. Very few accidents and deaths happen on these roads. Also, only 3% of deadly accidents were on motorways, which is less than their traffic share. The rates for non-fatal injuries are even lower9.

Motorcycle Accidents Involving Other Vehicles

Motorcyclists face high risks on the road. They don’t have the protection cars do. Between 2018 and 2022 in the UK, motorcyclists were over-represented in road accidents. Colliding with cars and HGVs proved especially dangerous, leading to severe injuries and deaths.

Collisions with Cars

Most motorcycle accidents involve cars. From 2018 to 2022, 637 fatal crashes happened in a car-motorcycle accident. This data stresses the crucial need for car drivers to be more aware. They should pay extra attention when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

Collisions with Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs)

Accidents with HGVs are less common but often worse. 9.0% of fatal motorcycle accidents involve an HGV. The size and weight difference between HGVs and motorcycles put bikers at significant risk. They face severe injury or death from these accidents.

The table below shows vehicle types and their roles in fatal motorcycle accidents:

Vehicle Type   Proportion of Fatal Collisions
HGVs   9.0%
Two or More Other Vehicles   6.3%
Cars   Majority of Fatalities (637)


In 2020, cars most frequently caused fatal accidents, followed by HGVs. This data drives home the point. All road users must be alert and cautious around motorcyclists. They’re at a higher risk of severe harm in accidents.

To make roads safer, we need awareness campaigns and better education. Stricter safety rules are also crucial. Let’s all work together for a road environment that’s safer for everyone. This way, we can avoid the tragic accidents involving motorcycles.

Seasonal and Temporal Patterns in Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents have clear seasonal patterns. They often happen more during the warmer months. This is when there are more people riding. Lin and Kraus’ 2009 study looked at the risks and injury patterns for motorcycle riders10. They found that good weather also leads to more accidents. For example, in Wales in 2016, 84% of accidents happened on sunny days. Only 12% occurred when it was raining.

Peak Times for Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents not only vary by season but also by time of day. More accidents happen on weekdays from 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm. These times match up with morning and evening rush hours. On weekends, the highest risk is from 12 noon to 4pm. This is when people are out for leisure rides.

Time of Day   Weekday Peak   Weekend Peak
Morning   7am – 10am   –
Afternoon   –   12 noon – 4pm
Evening   4pm – 7pm   –


It’s key to know about these temporal patterns to make roads safer. By understanding when and why accidents happen, we can plan better ways to prevent them. For example, authorities could put more effort into making people aware of the higher risks at certain times and seasons.

Weather also affects the number of motorcycle accidents. In Wales, almost all accidents occurred during fine weather or rain. Fewer than 2% happened in other conditions like fog or snow. Peek-Asa and others studied this in 1999, looking at helmet use and head injuries among motorcycle riders10.

Economic Impact of Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents have a tragic cost in lives and injure many. They also hit hard on the economy. In Great Britain in 2016, 19,297 bikers got hurt in crashes. There were 319 deaths and 5,553 serious injuries10. The aftermath affects healthcare, work, and everyone’s life in big ways.

Healthcare Costs

Treating those hurt in motorcycle accidents isn’t cheap, especially the long-term care needed. Costs are driven up by head injuries. These costs make up 6% of the whole bill10.

Head injury victims spend more on healthcare. This makes up a big part of the total costs10.

Lost Productivity

When people can’t work because of accidents, it affects their family and life. Lost wages add up to 29% of the total costs. Each year, lost wages alone in the UK due to these accidents reach £4.8 billion10. This figure shows how much these accidents impact the nation’s money and people’s personal incomes.

Economic Impact Category   Percentage of Total Social Costs   Estimated Annual Economic Losses (£)
Medical Expenses   6%   –
Lost Wages   29%   4.8 billion
Reduced Quality of Life and Suffering   63%   8.8 billion


This table highlights the major costs of motorcycle accidents. It shows how much is spent on healthcare and how many wages are lost. The big figure, £8.8 billion, represents how badly these accidents affect daily life11.

To wrap it up, motorcycle accidents shake up the economy. They cost a lot in healthcare and lost work. To make things better, we must improve motorcycle safety. This includes government and training programmes. These efforts can lower the number and harm of these accidents, lessening their economic punch.

Initiatives to Reduce Motorcycle Accidents

The UK has put in place many plans to cut down on motorcycle accidents. They mix laws, ads, and training programs. The goal is to teach riders how to be safe on the road.

In Wales in 2013, 246 motorcyclists were either killed or badly hurt. Sadly, 17 of these were deaths10. Even though motorbikes only made up 0.2% of traffic, they accounted for 31% of fatal and serious accidents. This shows the need for better safety measures10.

Government Policies and Campaigns

Several campaigns like THINK! raise awareness about motorcyclist safety. They tell all road users to watch out for those on two wheels. The aim is to make roads safer for everyone.

In Wales, there’s training available for bikers after they get their licence. But, there’s a problem. There’s no big list of what these courses cover or how they help reduce accidents10. A key finding from a report is that there are few evaluations on whether this training works10.

Motorcycle Safety Training Programmes

Learning how to ride safer is a big part of fixing accident numbers. The UK offers special courses for bikers. They’re not just for beginners. Even experienced riders can join and better their skills.

These courses fall into two groups. One is education to change how riders behave, like BikeSafe. The other teaches emergency skills for when things go wrong. With better training, accidents can hopefully be avoided10.

By supporting these actions, the UK wants to protect riders. These efforts should make roads safer for motorcyclists. With fewer accidents, there will be less harm and fewer deaths.

The Role of Protective Gear in Mitigating Motorcycle Accident Injuries

For motorcyclists, wearing the right gear is vital. It can lower how serious injuries from accidents are. Motorcycle helmets are key, being around 37% effective in saving riders and 41% for passengers. They work by softening the blow to your head and spreading out the force.

Motorcyclists face a higher risk of dying in a crash, 50 times more than drivers in cars. This gear is crucial as bikers make up about 21% of all road deaths in the UK.

Besides helmets, armoured jackets, trousers, gloves, and boots are also vital. These items protect against common hurts like cuts, breaks, twists, and scrapes after an accident. Although not a 100% guarantee against injury, they reduce the seriousness. This is especially crucial since the death rate for bikers was 40 times that of car users in 2021.

The feelings after a motorcycle crash are serious. Survivors might feel upset and have PTSD. Getting help is crucial for both body and mind. Also, if someone else was at fault for the crash, claiming compensation can help with the money worries from medical costs and lost earnings.

Choosing the best protective gear helps bikers lower the chance of bad injuries and death on the road.

Source Links

  1. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-motorcyclist-factsheet-2022/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-motorcyclist-factsheet-2022
  2. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-motorcyclist-factsheet-2020/reported-road-casualties-in-great-britain-motorcycle-factsheet-2020
  3. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5a80d35640f0b62302695b61/motorcyclist-casualties-2013-data.pdf
  4. https://www.brake.org.uk/get-involved/take-action/mybrake/knowledge-centre/uk-road-safety
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217482/
  6. https://www.rospa.com/media/documents/road-safety/factsheets/common-motorcycle-crash-causes.pdf
  7. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2022/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2022
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9518049/
  9. https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2017-10/evaluation-of-motorcycling-initiatives-in-wales.pdf
Motorcycle Accident Statistics in the United Kingdom – 2024 Update
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