In Australia, while the overall road toll decreased by 18% from 2000-2009, the number of motorcyclist fatalities increased by 17%. Australia’s rate of motorcycling deaths per registered motorcycle is above the international OECD median. In 2010, 1 in 5 road fatalities in Queensland were motorcyclists. Motorcycle riders in Australia are 30 times more likely to be killed in a road crash than car occupants.


  • Injuries to motorcyclists can occur from crashes on-road or off-road. The information provided in this fact sheet relates to on-road crashes only, however, CARRS-Q acknowledges the importance of protecting off-road riders and are also conducting research in this area.
  • Motorcycle riders and their pillion passengers represent a significant proportion of the road toll, even though motorcycles make up only a small percentage of registered vehicles.
  • In Australia:
    • In 2010, 224 fatalities were motorcyclists.
    • Motorcycles account for 4.5% of all  Australian passenger vehicle registrations and 1.1% of vehicle kilometres travelled. However, motorcycle riders and pillions account for approximately 15% of all road crash deaths and an even higher proportion of serious injuries. Per distance travelled, the Australian rate of motorcyclist deaths is approximately 30 times the rate for car occupants. The corresponding rate for a serious injury is approximately 41 times higher. Similarly, elevated rates are also found in other developed countries.
  • In Queensland:
    •  Motorcycle registrations more than doubled between 2001-2010. In comparison, car registrations rose by 35% over the same period. − In the 12 month period from July 2008 to June 2009, 94 motorcyclists were hospitalised in police-reported road crashes.
    • During 2010,  − 50 fatalities were motorcyclists. This represents a 16.7% decrease compared to the previous year’s toll, and a 24% decrease from the previous five year average. This is encouraging following the sharp increase in fatalities for motorcyclists seen in previous years.
    • Motorcycles account for only 4.6% of Queensland vehicle registrations, yet motorcyclists accounted for 20% of the state road toll.
  • • There have been two major changes that have contributed to the growth in motorcycling:  more older riders, and the growth in popularity of mopeds and scooters.
    • While older riders have a lower crash rate than younger riders, the huge growth in the numbers of older riders has increased the number of crashes involving this group.
    • Evidence suggests that increasing congestion, the availability of parking, and travel costs are encouraging the purchase of mopeds (up to 50cc) and scooters (over 50cc) for transport.
  • There was a 15-fold increase in moped registrations in Queensland between 2001 and 2009.

Targeted research for mopeds and scooters has found:

  • Use of mopeds and scooters increased at faster rate than motorcycles over the last 10 years. They now comprise about 10% of Queensland’s powered-two-wheelers.
  • The number of reported crashes for mopeds and scooters doubled (from 86 to 177) in Queensland between the 2003/2004 and 2008/2009 financial year.
  • Moped riders involved in crashes are more likely to be female than other motorcycle riders (36.3% versus 7.1%), younger, and hold an interstate