Many people have chosen motorcycles instead of automobiles for transportation. Although these vehicles can be fun to ride and economical to maintain, there are important factors to consider when driving them. Explore tips and strategies for staying safe if you choose to ride one.
Injury and Fatality Data
Only about two percent of the total number of registered vehicles in the United States are motorcycles. However, these vehicles represent about five percent of all highway fatalities that occur each year in this country. The disparity between these two percentages illustrates the high number of people killed when they choose this type of transportation. In a motorcycle accident, about 80 percent of the time, the rider is either injured or killed. With an automobile accident, occupants of the car are only injured or killed about 20 percent of the time.
Comparison of Vehicles
The reason for the high number of incidences resulting in both injury and death with motorcycles is mainly due to the lack of protection. With a car, people have the heavy structure of the vehicle around them. The roof and door beams protect in the event of a rollover or impact. Automobile restraints and airbags also offer important protection from injury and death in accidents. Cars are also much heavier and bulkier. The stability of four wheels is a vast improvement over two wheels. It’s also more difficult to see motorcycles on the road due to their smaller size. This difficulty means that sometimes other drivers simply don’t see a motorcycle, which can contribute to serious accidents.
While these vehicles do have some serious safety issues, there are some positive factors. A person riding a motorcycle has better maneuverability and agility on the road. This driver can often stop faster and swerve to avoid obstacles. While these are important benefits, they do not completely offset the negative safety issues.
– Before choosing this two-wheeled form of transportation, a rider should take and complete a training course that teaches skills and safety. At the end of the course, the student should pass a test to certify the skills.
– When riding, it is best to remain constantly vigilant for dangers. Defensive driving is an important tactic. Try to anticipate what other drivers may do. Along with staying alert, assume that other drivers will not see you.
– Use extreme caution at intersections. Intersections present serious dangers, and they are the location where most accidents occur for motorcycles.
– Remaining visible is one of the most important goals. Never ride in another vehicle’s blind spot.
– Avoid riding in inclement weather due to obstacles and slippery surfaces. A lack of windshield wipers can reduce your ability to see.
– Ride with a helmet, eye protection, and appropriate clothing. Long pants, a jacket, and gloves can help reduce the severity of injuries.
– Never ride when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
An awareness of potential issues can help increase overall safety. Follow recommendations for riding to avoid accidents and injuries.