Due to the nice weather and the large number of open roadways, Texas is a popular place to own and operate a motorcycle. According to data collected from state licensing bureaus across the U.S., Texas had the third-highest number of registered motorcycles. As of 2014, more than 445,000 motorcycles were registered and ready to ride throughout the state of Texas.

While many Texans ride their motorcycles their entire lives without any incident, there is always a risk of an accident or injury each time you take to the road. The following statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will give you a brief look at the seriousness of motorcycle accidents throughout the United States and some of the key factors in such accidents.

Motorcycle Deaths and Injuries

  • In 2013, an estimated 88,000 people suffered injuries in motorcycle accidents, which constituted four percent of all traffic-related injuries.
  • 458 motorcycle fatalities happened in the state of Texas.
  • The large majority of motorcycle deaths were the operators of the motorcycle–94 percent–and only 6 percent were passengers.
  • The age group at highest risk for motorcycle fatalities is age 40 and over, followed by 30 and under. Ages 30-39 had the lowest occurrence of death from motorcycle accidents.

Alcohol and Motorcycle Accidents

  • 4,399 motorcyclists in 2013 died with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.
  • 458 motorcycle fatalities happened in the state of Texas.
  • 37 percent of people who died in motorcycle accidents in Texas had a BAC over 0.08 percent.

Helmet Use

  • Wearing a helmet lowers the risk of head and brain injuries by 69 percent.
  • Helmet use lowers the risk of death by 37 percent.
  • In 2013, helmet use saved approximately 1,630 people from death in motorcycle accidents.
  • Motorcyclists who failed to wear helmets caused an estimated $1.1 billion in unnecessary economic costs in the U.S.
  • In states with laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, only 8 percent of motorcyclists who died were not using helmets.
  • In states that do not have universal helmet laws (such as Texas), 59 percent of motorcyclists who died were not using helmets.

These statistics are eye opening and should make all motorcyclist truly consider the use of helmets and the need to avoid drinking and riding.