Calculating the cost of a motorcycle accident

Like it or not, you're thirty times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than in an automobile crash. There's little wondering why. As a rider, you're bouncing around at high velocities in close proximity to stationary objects and machines many times your mass. In a best-case-scenario, going off-bike will see you vying with pavement, other vehicles and your own bike with nothing protect you but some Kevlar, a little leather and a bit of Styrofoam.

According to the Government Accountability Office, 82,000 riders were injured in motorcycle accidents and a 4,502 individuals were killed in crashes. All told, the immediate cost of those downs was $16 billion or more. On average, a fatal motorcycle crash costs around $1.2 million, with non-fatal incidents carrying a price tag of anywhere from $2,500 to $1.4 million depending on rider injuries.

So, what's the solution? According to the GAO, the only measurable way to cut those costs is to mandate helmet use. Helmets reportedly cut the fatality rate of motorcycle crashes by 39 percent, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims helmets prevented 1,550 deaths in 2010. Likewise, the Center for Disease Control says the lids saved the economy a total of $3 billion in those crashes. Seems like cheap insurance to us.

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