Disclaimer: Data on this website is the latest available from the named sources in this article and was obtained in April 2020. Auto & General Services Pty Ltd does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the data and accepts no liability whatsoever arising from or connected in any way to the use or reliance upon this data.

Quick statistics

  • There were 210 motorcyclist deaths in 2019, which was a decrease from the peak of 249 in 2016.
  • The age group with the most deaths were between 42-64, accounting for 88 or 42% of the total motorcycle fatalities in 2019.
  • Motorcyclists are 30 times more likely to be killed in a crash than passengers in cars.1
  • It’s estimated that 19% of road deaths in Australia result from motorcycle accidents.

Accidents

Motorcyclists are vulnerable on Australian roads. With less protection than other vehicles, they are left more exposed in the face of an accident. Unfortunately, motorcyclists are much more likely to be injured in road crashes, and 30 times more likely to be killed than passengers in cars.

According to the latest data, motorcyclists represent 27% of serious injuries on Australian roads and are the second-highest group behind vehicle occupants at 47%.2 Motorcyclists account for over one-quarter of serious road accidents.

50% of injury crashes are multi-vehicle and are more likely to be fatal compared to single-vehicle crashes. The global status report on road safety states that wearing a motorcycle helmet correctly can reduce the risk of death by approximately 40%, and the risk of severe injury by over 70%.3 The quality of the motorcycle helmet determines how effectively it can reduce the impact of a collision.

According to the World Health Organisation, head injuries are the primary cause of fatalities and major trauma for two- and three-wheeled motor vehicle users.4

Severe injuries by group

Deaths

1200 people died on Australian roads in 2019, 210 being motorcyclists. The overall death toll for motor vehicle crashes was higher than 2018, but less than 2016, with 1300 deaths recorded. The record high for total motor vehicle deaths was in 2007, with 1603 fatalities. Currently, the rate of motor vehicle deaths in Australia is 4.5 per 100,000 people.5

Between 2010 – 2019, the highest number of motorcycle deaths recorded across Australia was 249, in 2016. The age group between 40-64 recorded the highest fatalities, accounting for 48%, or 119 deaths in 2016. Both 2014 and 2018 have the lowest recorded number of motorcycle deaths, totaling 191 fatalities.

Motorcycle accident deaths in Australia 2019

Motorcycle accident deaths by state 2019

NSW

In 2019, 68 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across New South Wales. This was an increase of 25.5% from 2018, where the total death toll was 54 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in NSW was in 2013, where a total of 71 people lost their lives.

VIC

In 2019, 44 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across Victoria. This was an increase of 15.8% from 2018, where the total death toll was 38 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in Victoria was in 2016, where a total of 56 people lost their lives.

QLD

In 2019, 44 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across Queensland. This was an increase of 2.3% from 2018, where the total death toll was 43 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in Queensland was in 2016, where a total of 62 people lost their lives.

SA

In 2019, 17 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across South Australia. This was an increase of 70% from 2018, where the total death toll was 10 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in South Australia was in 2017, where a total of 24 people lost their lives.

WA

In 2019, 27 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across Western Australia. This was a -3.6% change from 2018, where the total death toll was 28 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in Western Australia was in 2014, where a total of 43 people lost their lives.

TAS

In 2019, 7 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across Tasmania. This was a -12.5% change from 2018, where the total death toll was 8 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in Western Australia was in 2017, where a total of 11 people lost their lives.

NT

In 2019, 3 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across the Northern Territory. This was a -62.5% change from 2018, where the total death toll was 8 people. In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in the Northern Territory was in 2018, where a total of 8 people lost their lives.

ACT

In 2019, 0 people were killed in motorcycle accidents across the Australian Capital Territory. In comparison, 2 people lost their lives in 2018.  In the last decade, the highest amount of motorcycle fatalities in the Australian Capital Territory was in 2010, where a total of 5 people lost their lives.

Motorcycle deaths by age group 2019

Motorcycle deaths by speed limit 2019

Causes of Accidents

According to recent data, a common factor in motorcycle-related injuries and deaths is risk-taking, accounting for 50% of fatal motorcycle crashes and 28% of non-fatal crashes.6 Risk-taking includes speeding, alcohol intoxication, drugs, and disobeying traffic laws.

Speeding

Speeding is a leading cause of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. The higher the speed, the less chance a driver can react to other vehicles on the road, heightening the overall potential of a collision.

Intoxication

Driving under the influence can drastically increase the risk of motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Penalties vary state to state and can result in loss of license and fines.

Lane splitting

Lane splitting is the act of driving between two lanes. A study conducted by the NSW government shows that at higher speeds, lane splitting increases the risk of crashing, specifically with pedestrians and cyclists.7

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