KY Motorcycle Crashes, Motorcycle Safety: Cooper and Friedman

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Motorcycle Safety and the States with the Most Motorcycle Crashes

Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on January 25, 2024
Cooper and Friedman explain Motorcycle safety tips and reveal the states with the most motorcycle crashes.


Transportation in the modern day is filled with risks that we take every day when we settle into the seat of our vehicles, whether it be a car, a bus, or a motorcycle. However, as a smaller and more exposed vehicle, motorcycle crashes have a fatality rate that is 30 times higher than a car crash. While motorcycles make up only 3% of registered road traffic, motorcycle accidents account for a grim 14% of all traffic fatalities.

Despite however many protective measures motorcyclists take, there is always the danger of an accident present. Cooper and Friedman are experienced motorcycle accident lawyers in Louisville, KY. We help injured motorcyclists get the settlement they deserve if another motorcycle or vehicle whose driver was acting in illegal or unsafe ways. However, to decrease the risk of injury or death in the first place, here are a few ways for motorcyclists to remain safe as they drive.

Motorcycle Safety

Protective Gear

Motorcyclists have less protection in the event of an accident, especially against a heavier vehicle such as a car, truck, or semi. Wearing a helmet and the proper protective clothing can decrease the odds of a motorcycle crash becoming fatal. Full protective gear for motorcyclists can include:

  • DOT-compliant helmet
  • CE, ANSI, and MILspec-certified eye protection (if not included in the helmet)
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Durable and/or padded clothing
  • Jacket

Protective gear is a proven effective measure, with helmets preventing approximately 40% of fatalities in motorcycle accidents.

With this statistic, it might be a surprise to hear that only 18 states require motorcyclists to wear helmets, whereas 3 states have no motorcycle helmet laws. The other 29 states have age-based laws that require riders under a certain age to wear the protective helmet. Kentucky’s law requires those 20 years of age and younger to wear helmets. However, it is encouraged that motorcyclists of all ages wear as much protective gear as possible.

Safe Driving Practices

Motorcyclists should always follow safe driving practices to minimize accident risk. This includes:

  • Driving the speed limit
  • Driving sober
  • Maintaining a valid motorcycle endorsement (license)
  • Installing safety measures, such as good rearview mirrors, a loud horn, and bright headlights

34% of motorcycle fatalities involved speeding in 2020, 27% involved alcohol, and more than a third of accidents involved unlicensed or untrained drivers. A motorcycle is not the same as a car, so the proper training needs to be complete before motorcyclists take to the road!

Knowing the Motorcycle Laws

Motorcycle drivers also need to be aware of their state’s motorcycle laws. If motorcyclists are traveling across state lines, they might encounter legal trouble in one state but not another for a variety of different reasons. However, if other drivers on the road aren’t used to certain driving practices that motorcycle drivers are, it also increases the chance for accidents and injury. Laws that vary state-by-state include:

  • Lane splitting
  • Helmet requirements
  • Eye protection
  • Noise and muffler use
  • Passenger age
  • Daytime headlight use
  • Wearing headphones while driving
  • No-chase laws
  • Licenses and registration

The Most Dangerous States for Motorcyclists

Like all motor vehicles, the dangers of motorcycle crashes exist regardless of the protective measures layered on or how well motorcycle riders take care to drive safely and legally. When it comes to the risk of motorcycle crashes, there are several states that consistently have higher rates of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Fortunately, Kentucky does not make the top of either list. However, motorcyclists still made up 12% of auto-related fatalities in 2020 with the 92 accidents that were reported.

Here are the top 5 states with the highest number of motorcycle accidents and the top 3 states with the highest percentage of fatalities.

Highest Number of Motorcycle Crashes

  1. Florida: 651
  2. California: 565
  3. Texas: 515
  4. North Carolina: 230
  5. Ohio: 223

Highest Percentage of Fatalities in Reported Motorcycle Crashes

  1. New Hampshire: 24%
  2. Colorado: 23%
  3. Hawaii: 21%

If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle crash in the State of Kentucky and are in need of an experienced motorcycle accident attorney, give the lawyers at the Cooper & Friedman law firm a call. The lawyers at Cooper and Friedman PLLC have over 50 years of combined experience defending the rights of motorcycle accident victims. Contact us with questions you might have or schedule a free case consultation with an attorney by calling 502-459-7555 today.

Posted Under: Bike Accidents, Motorcycle Accidents

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