If you look at the total number of car accident deaths in the United States for any given year, and then you compare it to the total number of motorcycle deaths, the totals for car-related fatalities will be vastly higher.
This can make people think that motorcycles are not all that dangerous. That’s a misconception. The issue is just that motorcycles are far less common. Most people drive or ride in cars. Most do not ride motorcycles, so they have no chance to contribute to those accident statistics. That does not make bikes safer.
The only real way to compare the two is to look at how many people pass away per mile traveled. That way, you give each an even playing ground and you see how dangerous it is to cover any sort of distance on a motorcycle. When you do that, the statistics indicate that motorcycle deaths are 27 times higher than car-related deaths.
The reason is just the lack of protection. In many fatality cases, motorcyclists suffer head injuries. They do not have a seat belt to protect them or the car’s frame to take the impact. Wearing a helmet can make them more likely to live through a crash, but even that does not eliminate the risk of a serious head injury.
This is not to say you should never ride a motorcycle or that you can’t do it safely. Obeying traffic laws and practicing defensive driving are good places to start. However, you do need to know what risks you face and what legal options you have when injured in a crash.