Summer is finally here, and with the warmer weather comes more people breaking out their motorcycles to enjoy a summer ride. However, these vehicles have something of a reputation for being a dangerous and risky mode of transportation. This hasn’t made them any less popular – consumers purchased 427,000 motorcycles in 2017 alone. So how much of a risk do motorcycles actually pose on the road? Are these vehicles safe for enjoying a good summer out on the road, or are they best left in the garage?
Motorcycles inherently pose an increased risk to the rider simply because of how they’re designed. Even the most careful of motorcycle riders are more exposed while riding than people driving cars. Without the added protection of the car’s structure, riders are far more likely to experience serious injuries during a collision. There are approximately 6 million car accidents in the U.S. each year, and in those involving a motorcycle, rates of injury or even death are likely to be higher.
Motorcyclists don’t just face dangers due to the design of their vehicles; they’re also at risk of injury due to the habits of other drivers. Summer is more likely to have events that could lead to intoxicated driving, and these drivers put motorcyclists at extreme risk. While drivers of cars are more likely to survive collisions caused by drunk driving, motorcyclists aren’t usually as lucky. Drugs other than alcohol are involved in approximately 18% of motor vehicle deaths, as well, and can pose a serious risk to motorcyclists. Ultimately, the biggest threats on the road aren’t the motorcycles themselves; it’s more frequently the fault of the cars they’re sharing the road with.
How can motorcyclists protect themselves against the threat that cars pose to them on the road? Luckily, a few methods already exist. The leather that you often see bikers wearing isn’t just for fashion – these heavier materials can help protect drivers from road rash in the case of an accident. Likewise, the right safety equipment can make a serious difference in cyclist safety in the case of a collision. Up to 75% of motorcycle accidents involve a collision with an automobile and helmeted riders suffered fewer neck injuries compared to un-helmeted riders. Having a helmet can avoid some of the worst injuries suffered by those on motorcycles, though it’s not going to protect everyone. In order to keep as many drivers and riders as safe as possible, it’s important to learn how to properly share the road.
Sharing The Road
Motorcycles might not take up quite as much space on the road compared to a car, but they should have just as much room in order to travel safely. When you’re on the road near a motorcycle, do your best to give them a safe amount of space. Similarly, if you’re riding near a car, avoid the temptation to zip past as much as possible. Keeping a safe distance and sharing the road safely can protect everyone from the risks posed by motorcycles and dangerous drivers.
This summer, look to share the road as safely as possible to help avoid motorcycle accidents. If you plan on breaking out your own bike, be sure you’re staying safe by wearing appropriate gear and equipment in the case of a collision. Safe driving and safe equipment can help mitigate many of the dangers posed by motorcycles, so be sure to protect both yourself and those on the road with you.