Are Motorcycles Safe to Ride?
Are Motorcycles Safe to Ride?
Many people ask, are motorcycles safe to ride? It can be tough to answer that question. So far, they've been safe for me to ride. But so far, my seventeen-year-old son hasn't had an accident driving a car either. Statistically, we're both bound to have an accident sooner or later.
Let's take a look at some of the facts put out by the NHTSA. In 2006 18.06 cars out of 100,000 ended up in fatal accidents. Motorcycles had a rate of 55.82 out of 100,000. In 2004, 4,008 motorcycle riders were killed on roads in the United States. That was an increase of 8% over the previous year.
The Hurt Report, written around 1980, studied the reasons behind motorcycle crashes. That report talks about the various common reasons crashes occur. Here are a few interesting statistics.
Almost half of the crashes studied involved alcohol.
75% of accidents involved a motorcycle and a motor vehicle. The remaining 25% were single motorcycle accidents.
In the single motorcycle accidents, they were almost all caused by the driver over-estimating his abilities. Drivers either didn't brake in time or they overshot a curve, or something of that nature.
Most of the accidents that involved a motorcycle and a motor vehicle were caused by the motor vehicle not giving the motorcycle the right of way.
Weather was not a contributing cause in most of the accidents.
Proper gear significantly decreased the risk of death in a motorcycle accident.
Motor vehicle drivers often said that they had not seen the motorcyclist before the accident occurred.
It seems that there are several things we can do to keep our risk of accident very low and the risk of getting hurt in an accident low as well. Let's take a look at some of them.
Take a training course. And take many refresher courses. Learning how to handle your bike can help prevent accidents. Your skill level on the bike can help you avoid a potential accident, and your training can help you drive more safely on a routine basis.
Wear brightly colored gear. Wearing gear can help you if you get in an accident, but it can also greatly help in preventing an accident from happening. Wear bright colored clothing, including your helmet. Put reflective tape on your gear to draw attention to yourself. The more you can be noticed on your bike, the safer you're going to be.
Wear protective gear. Your gear may be brightly colored, but if it's not designed to protect your body, it's going to do you no good in an accident. Much of the gear designed now offers not only padding but also plastics designed to protect your body in a crash. Wear a full-face helmet all the time. Wear a jacket with padding all the time. Wear protective gloves and boots all the time. Don't leave on a ride without all the proper equipment on your body.
Motorcycle riding can be very safe if you approach it from the position of safety first. Get yourself trained on how to ride your bike safely and how to ride defensively. When you ride, don't be aggressive. Always believe that a motorist does not see you so you won't be surprised when he doesn't. Don't put yourself in a situation on the road with no way out. The smarter you are and the more you think about where you are and what you're doing, the safer you're going to be.
I don't think we can make any experience perfectly safe for everyone. But we can take precautions, train ourselves, and try to take care and look out for each other.