TTI Researchers Conduct Eight-Year Analysis of Texas Motorcycle Crashes


Eva Shipp, Ph.D., and Amber Trueblood, Ph.D., of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute led an in-depth analysis of motorcycle crashes from 2010-2017 for a Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) sponsored study. The purpose of the project was to understand the complex nature of motorcycle crashes in Texas through the development of a motorcycle crash database and in-depth analysis. This project updates and builds on a prior analysis completed in 2016. This project added the development of a curve tool to better identify curve-related crashes, as well as an analysis focused on scooters and mopeds. Major project findings include:

  • On average there are 9,601 riders affected by a crash annually with an average of 479 fatalities and 1,988 suspected serious injuries annually.
  • Motorcycle crashes are more severe than other types of crashes
    • 27% of motorcycle crashes were fatal or suspected serious injury compared to 3% of non-motorcycle crashes.
  • Impairment is associated with motorcycle crash severity
    • 44% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved an impaired rider
    • 39% of DUI motorcycle operators with a fatal or serious suspected injury crash occurred on a crash compared to 24% of non-DUI motorcycle operators with a fatal or suspected serious injury crash
  • Speeding is associated with motorcycle crash severity
    • 30% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved speeding as a contributing factor
  • Rural motorcycle crashes are more severe and are more likely to involve an animal or curve compared to urban motorcycle crashes
    • 35% of rural motorcycle crashes were fatal or suspected serious injury compared to 22% of urban motorcycle crashes
    • 37% of rural fatal or suspected serious crashes involved an animal compared to 17% of urban fatal or suspected serious crashes
    • 56% of rural fatal or suspected serious crashes involved a curve compared to 44% of urban fatal or suspected serious crashes
  • Riders who crash on curves die 8 times as often as non-motorcyclists
    • 8% of riders who crashed on a curved died compared to 1% of non-motorcyclists
  • There were 2,531 operators and passengers of mopeds or scooters involved in crashes from 2010-2017
    • 52% of moped or scooter riders killed were not wearing a helmet
    • 42% of moped or scooter riders did not use a helmet compared to 36% of motorcyclists
    • 78% of fatal and suspected serious moped or scooter injuries occurred in urban areas

Download a PDF of the full report.

Download the fact sheets: