There is something about riding a motorcycle that draws many people to travel via two wheels instead of four. Whether it be the freedom of not being trapped in a car or just having the wind hitting your face, the popularity of motorcycles continues to grow. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle does not afford you the same protections a car or truck can provide when it comes to safety. In addition, a motorcycle navigating the roads with other vehicles can often be deadly.
If you are a motorcycle rider, the statistics about motorcycle safety can be grim. Motorcyclists are 27 more times as likely to die in a crash than occupants in a car and 5 times more likely to be injured. These numbers do not mean you should stop riding your motorcycle, but you should at least get a better understanding of what causes the numbers to be so high. By knowing the most common reasons that cause motorcycle accidents, it may allow you to be more attentive and safe while out riding.
Blindspot/Lane changes – Because a motorcycle is smaller than anything else out on the roads, and the constant lack of checking blind spots by car drivers, getting cut off or driven into remains one of the most dangerous parts of riding a motorcycle. As a motorcycle rider, it is best not to linger in areas where you know it may be hard for a driver of a car to see.
Weaving through traffic or lane splitting – One reason riding a motorcycle is so enjoyable is how easy it can be to maneuver around and do things that a car is unable to do. However, being reckless and darting around cars is extremely dangerous.
Speeding – No matter what type of vehicle is being driven, excessive speed is the leading cause of deaths on the roadways. No matter how much you are in control of your bike, one obstacle in your way, one car turning blindly in front of you or one area of bad road can throw you off your bike. If you are speeding, not only are reaction times reduced, but the inevitable crash will be prolonged and more catastrophic.
Left turns – When you are making a left turn across traffic on your motorcycle, you should never assume that you are seen. By the time a driver of a car even sees you, they may not even have time to hit their brakes.
Sudden stops – Due to the quick acceleration of many motorcycles, it is easy to get right up on back bumpers of cars. If the car in front of you slams on their brakes, without being at a safe distance, you can easily find yourself crashing into them.
As a motorcycle rider, you know that being safe on a motorcycle means you are responsible and alert. You never know when a door of a parked car may open in front of you or inclement weather makes riding extremely difficult. The best way to combat the many dangers you can encounter on a motorcycle is to be prepared for common circumstances that have typically caused both death or catastrophic injuries to riders.