It's important to have some numbers to be able to look at trends and understand the main causes of motorcycle accidents and especially motorcycle fatalities.
Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle crashes (PDF) shows that in 2009 in the US alone 4,462 motorcyclists got killed and 90,000 got injured.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorcycle_safety shows a general overview of motorcycle safety and references the major studies about motorcycle safety:
- Hurt Report (US, 1981) that showed that "two-thirds of motorcycle-car crashes occurred when the car driver failed to see the approaching motorcycle and violated the rider's right-of-way. Helmets significantly reduce the risk of brain injury and death"
- MAIDS Report (Europe, 2000) showed that "69% of the drivers did not see the motorcycle. In 68.7% of all cases, the helmet was capable of preventing or reducing the head injury sustained by the rider"
- There is supposed to be a large followup study to the Hurt report underway but it seems be be stalled by a disagreement over how to conduct such a study
Do you have any statistics from your home country to contribute? What are the main causes of motorcycle accidents in your opinion?