Although motorcycle enthusiasts will not want to read this – there is overwhelming proof that this pursuit is one of the most deadly pastimes on the road and your station in life does not guarantee you a pass in the fatality department.
Just several days ago on a middle of the night ride a motorcyclist and his passenger were hit by a truck. The driver of the bike was killed instantly and his wife died en route to the hospital. Neither cyclist was wearing a helmet (although even helmets don’t guarantee against permanent and debilitating injuries in the case of a motorcycle accident). The two persons in the truck were listed in stable condition – probably hospitalized more for the emotional and psychological trauma of the situation than any physical injury.
On the same night in a different town a former Astros player was also killed in a motorcycle – just punctuating the fact that no one is immune to finding themselves on the receiving end of a deadly motorcycle crash.
In a recent year approximately four thousand people died in motorcycle accidents and another fifty thousand sustained varying degrees of injuries. Moreover, one site states that nearly three fourths of those riding motorcycles that are in an accident will die as a result of their injuries.
The reason for this can be traced back to lax helmet laws and inexperienced drivers. Remember, any safety cautions you practice in driving an automobile or truck are equally as important when driving a motorcycle. Adhere to all traffic laws and don’t speed, tailgate, drink and drive or otherwise handle your ‘chopper’ with a disregard for life and limb.
Too quickly a great evening out can turn into an evening of no return.
Avoiding Motorcycle Accidents
With the cost of gas skyrocketing we can likely expect to see more motorcyclists on the road than ever before. Motorcycles are a fast and efficient way to get around – however, the riders and other motorists should be aware of some of the more common safety tips that can make the experience better for everyone on the road and avoid a motorcycle accident.
So consider the following hints before setting out on the open road.
Motorcyclists should always do a thorough lane check before moving from one lane to another.
Motorcyclists should always slow down when taking a corner on a city street or highway. It is very easy to lose control of the motorcycle if you take the corner too fast.
Motorcyclists should avoid slamming on their brakes. This, too, is a maneuver than tends to destabilize the bike and cause the driver to lose control.
Motorcyclists should drive with greater caution on unstable surfaces such as gravel and dirt. It is harder for a bike to maintain traction on these types of roadways and easier to end up in an accident.
Motorcyclists should watch for potholes or other road obstructions. These are much more dangerous to a cyclist than a car or truck driver.
Motorcyclists should wear protective gear. This includes helmets, gloves, boots and long pants. In an accident this will lessen the extent and types of possible injuries one might otherwise sustain.
Motorcycle safety tips
According to published reports motorcycles with antilock brakes or much less likely to be involved in the fatality accident than those without that feature. Given the popularity of motorcycles particularly in times of high gas prices motorcycle accident safety is critical.
Some thoughts on motorcycle safety:
- Always wear a helmet; head injuries are responsible for most motorcycle crash fatalities.
- Make sure you are competent to drive motorcycle- take appropriate classes and the comfortable and competent before you take the road.
- Ride a motorcycle that fits your body. If you are a smaller person you do not need to be writing a speech during a heavy bike.
- Wear protective clothing. Since you are not afforded the protections given an automobile driver, the type of clothing in particular you where it’s critically important, get the best you can.
- Assuming you cannot be seen and never leave in and out of traffic or change lanes without signaling or in heavy traffic.
- Slowdown or do not drive in inclement weather.
Motorcycles particularly in cities are much more dangerous on the highways than an automobile. Motorcycle safety is critical for you and your loved ones.
Over 5000 Fatal Motorcycle Accidents Each Year
Over 5200 fatalities from motorcycle crashes across United States as recently as 2008. Of these fatal motorcycle accidents at least thirty percent-involved alcohol and a whopping 59% were NOT wearing helmets.
It is equally distressing to note that thirty five percent of fatal motorcycle accidents were speeding and younger motorcycle riders accounted for more deaths than those in the over forty category.
Finally, a disproportionate number of motorcycle fatalities occur with unlicensed motorcycle riders who did not have a motorcycle permit and, in addition, poor road conditions can affect a motorcycle rider’s safety to a much greater extent than other vehicle drivers.
It should come as no surprise that these statistics mirror those of vehicle collisions with the exception of the lack of helmets and accidents caused my potholes in roads.
Drunk and distracted driving is the main culprits of vehicle and motorcycle collisions and requires continued conversations about preventive safety measures that have life saving potential.
Several of the most common defensive driving suggestions for motorcycle riders are:
First, wear a helmet. The majority of debilitating injuries and fatalities can be traced to head trauma as a result of motorcycle accidents.
Secondly, where as vehicle drivers have a tendency to drive distracted and cause accidents – the motorcycle rider has a greater potential of becoming a statistic of distracted driving.
Be vigilant of drivers around you who do not appear to be paying attention.
The automobile offers some physical safety to the car accident victim whereas the motorcycle driver has no restraints.