Safety should always be a priority for those who ride motorcycles. While there’s a lot of freedom in the experience of riding your hog, it’s also far more dangerous than being behind the wheel of a car. The statistics regarding motorcycle accidents are nothing short of staggering, and it’s vital to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prevent them—this goes for auto drivers as well as motorcyclists. Learn how devastating a motorcycle accident can be, and what you as a driver or cyclist can do to prevent this from happening to you.
Motorcycle Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are up to 35 times as many deaths resulting from motorcycle accidents as there are from cars. In the year 2006, there were 88,000 motorcycle injuries on the highway and 4,800 deaths from road accidents. Over 10% of all accidents in our nation involve motorcycles in some way. These motorcycle accident statistics are staggering and the problem only gets worse, with over 7 million bikes registered in the United States.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
There are many possible causes for motorcycle accidents. Some of these are shared with car and truck accidents; others are unique to motorbikes. These can include, among others:
- Inclement weather
- Lane splitting
- Ignoring traffic
- Failing to wear a helmet or protective gear
- Not using turn signals
- Disobeying traffic signs or speed limits
- Obstructed view
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving
- Road debris
- Road rage
Avoiding motorcycle accidents is in many ways a simple factor of paying attention to what’s around you. Motorcyclists have to be extra vigilant about the conditions in which they drive, as their vehicle offers far less protection than does a car. In a car, if you get in an accident, you’ve got four walls and a roof around you—not so with a motorbike, which leaves you exposed to the worst of the crash.
Auto drivers as well need to keep their eyes open. Motorcycles are smaller than cars and often tend to move faster, which makes them less visible to motorists than other vehicles. Keeping alert is the best way to avoid an accident.
Pay attention to all safety practices and regulations. Wear a helmet and protective clothing at all times, including long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves. Avoid loose-fitting clothing. Wearing leather is always recommended.
Beyond the right gear, follow speed limit guidelines. Slow it down if the road conditions are bad and if you can’t avoid them altogether. Don’t engage in lane splitting or lane sharing. Use your turn signal. It shouldn’t need to be said that you should avoid drinking and driving, but sadly, there are still too many drunk driving accidents on the roads. Finally, get professional training and know your skill level. Don’t drive outside your comfort zone and always practice defensive driving.
As always, if you are hurt in a Colorado accident on your motorcycle, get in touch with a qualified personal injury attorney for help getting the compensation you deserve. Check out our motorcycle accident page for more information, and contact us for a consult at no fee and no obligation today!