Why Do Most of the Americans Prefer Cars Over Motorcycles for Daily Commute?

The answer to why do most of the Americans prefer cars over motorcycles for daily commute is twofold. Americans tend to commute longer distances, and most American cities are not bike-friendly.

Comfort needs and safety concerns mean that 86% of Americans use their cars to commute, and only 5% use motorcycles or bikes. Around 10% use public transportation.

Let’s dive into the main reasons why cars remain so popular.

Long Distances

Compared to their European counterparts, Americans tend to commute longer distances. This is one of the reasons Americans mention on online discussion forums about using cars versus motorcycles.

Americans want to be comfortable if they’re traveling more than 5 miles to a destination. Plus, people also mention inclement weather over short or long distances is a factor. A car provides shelter from the elements and climate control.

Riding a motorcycle in extreme hot or cold weather isn’t practical for many Americans. And with a commute time of 30 minutes or more, it can be more than uncomfortable. Riding a motorcycle in dangerous temperatures could become a safety hazard.

Safety Issues

Besides avoiding hypothermia or heat stroke, Americans prefer cars for their commutes because they’re logistically safer. Most American cities and roads are not set up to accommodate motorcycles and bikes.

Trying to drive a motorcycle on crowded freeways and side streets can be more dangerous. Cities don’t plow or clear roads with ice and snow to allow motorcycles to safely pass.

It’s also more difficult for drivers in cars to see motorcycles at night, even with reflectors. Only 3% of Americans use motorcycles for their commutes and taking a drive on American roads during day or night time makes it easy to see why.

Too many drivers are distracted and there’s road rage and the increased potential for bodily injury. Driving a car or truck provides at least some surrounding protection if there’s an accident. It’s much easier for a rider to propel off a motorcycle and sustain a serious injury.


Motorcycles don’t have the amount of space cars and trucks do. According to discussion boards, Americans find it less convenient to take a motorcycle to the grocery store or on errands. They can’t fit a week’s worth of groceries on their motorcycles.

Americans also can’t easily transport children, friends, or spouses on errands and day trips. Singles may find it more convenient to own a motorcycle and use it during mild, warmer weather. However, some mention that it’s often not worth the cost.


In most locations in the United States, Americans don’t find it practical to only own a motorcycle for commutes. Since they have to maintain a car for safety, inclement weather, and space needs, owing an additional vehicle is too expensive.

Many Americans would rather stick with the costs associated with a car since they find they have to own one anyway.

Americans overwhelmingly prefer cars over motorcycles for their commutes because they’re more practical for long distances, safer, and provide more space.