Anyone who has ever ridden on a motorcycle in Tennessee knows the joy of being on two wheels and the feeling of freedom that may accompany the experience. Unfortunately bikers and their passengers also must be keenly aware of the increased risk they face relative to people in passenger vehicles if they are to be involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Science Daily indicates that the Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published research that shows exactly how much greater the risk of injury or death is to a motorcyclist than to someone in a regular car. A biker is three times more likely to be hurt in a crash than a driver or passenger in a car. When it comes to the chance of dying, that increases by five times for a person on a bike compared to a person in a car. Costs associated with accident injuries are also greater for bikers than for passenger car occupants and drivers by as much as six times.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2016 alone motorcyclist deaths accounted for more than 14 percent of all vehicular fatalities in the state of Tennessee. In Knox County, biker deaths accounted for 18.5 percent of the county’s total deaths in vehicle crashes.

Between 2012 and 2016, a total of 667 people on motorcycles were killed in collisions across the state. Of those, 36 were killed in Knox County. Records also show that the number of bikers killed increased significantly in 2016 over 2015 both statewide and in Knox County on its own.