Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Accident Statistics

Motorcycle statistics provide valuable information regarding factors that may contribute to accidents involving motorcycles, and can establish recent trends. It can also help determine where awareness needs to be raised among the general public: motorcyclist or not.

2011 State Motorcycle Accident Statistics

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT), there were 3,641 motorcycle crashes in 2011. Of those, 200 involved fatalities and 194 involved property damage only. The majority (3,247) resulted in injuries. In 655 accidents, the motorcyclist hit a fixed object.

Five-year trends from 2007 to 2011 show that the number of crashes in 2011 was at its lowest over that time period. However, with regard to fatalities, 2011 was second lowest with 200 deaths, compared to 195 in 2009. There were 231 deaths in 2008 when fatalities were at their highest over the five-year period.

The total number of motorcycle driver/passenger deaths was 199 in 2011. The majority (95 percent) was drivers and the remaining five percent were passengers. There were also 320 motorcyclists involved in crashes where alcohol was a factor.

Most of the accidents involving other vehicles were:

  • passenger cars (543);
  • light trucks/vans/SUVs (335);
  • another motorcycle (59);
  • heavy truck (27);
  • bicycle (9); and
  • commercial bus (5).


In Pennsylvania, helmets are required for drivers and riders who are 20 years old and under. For those 21 and above, helmets are optional as long as the rider has completed a motorcycle safety course (approved by Pennsylvania DOT or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation) or has been licensed to operate a bike for at least two years. No matter the driver’s age however, helmets are required for those with a learner’s permit.

The following motorcycle statistics show the severity of injuries based on helmet use:

  • 161 bikers for whom helmet use was unknown – 5 deaths, 118 injured, 38 not injured;
  • 1,498 bikers not wearing a helmet – 94 deaths, 1,292 injured, 112 not injured; and
  • 2,504 bikers wearing a helmet – 100 deaths, 2,193 injured, 211 not injured.

Importance of Legal Counsel When Injured in a Motorcycle Crash

Based on these statistics, most motorcycle accidents involve passenger cars. The lack of a barrier between a motorcyclist and a vehicle increases the chance of severe or fatal injuries for the biker.

Although it’s been shown that some walk away with only property damage, the majority are injured. Broken bones, burns, head trauma and amputation are just some examples of injuries motorcyclists may sustain.

Because of the potential for significant medical bills and a great deal of time away from work during recovery, contacting an attorney is important. At Cordisco & Saile LLC, we can review the details of your case to determine liability and the types of compensation that may be available when someone else’s negligence results in a motorcycle accident.

Give us a call today to set up your free consultation to discuss the details of your case: 215-642-2335.