Can riding a motorcycle be safe?
When it comes to riding a motorcycle, there really is no way ride 100 percent risk-free. Just like driving a car, there are many factors that you oversee to ensure your safety, but there are also several factors that you cannot control that always impose at least a little bit of risk. Furthermore, the more irresponsible an individual is on a motorcycle, the more likely they are to experience an accident. Therefore, riding a motorcycle can be infinitely safer if the motorcyclist takes proper precautions to avoid an accident.
For instance, if the motorcyclist takes affirmative actions on the road to make sure that other drivers can clearly see them and improve their overall visibility can substantially decrease the chance of an accident. Additionally, wearing the proper safety gear, including helmets, jackets, pants and boots, all work to prevent motorcycle accidents or decrease the chance of injury or death if an accident does occur. Finally, obeying traffic laws and riding defensively, especially in poor weather or in heavy traffic, can exponentially increase the safety of riding a motorcycle.
What percentage of motorcycle riders get into fatal accidents?
Fatal car accidents happen every day, but statistics clearly show that motorcyclists make up a remarkable proportion of vehicular fatalities. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in the year 2016, motorcyclist fatalities were 28 times more common than passenger vehicle fatalities. Over the course of that year, over 5,200 motorcyclists were killed in vehicular collisions. Sadly, 2016 saw the second highest number of motorcyclist fatalities in the United States since 1994.
To some degree, these statistics can be explained simply by the nature of riding a motorcycle. Motorcyclists are at a greater risk of injury or death because they are not surrounded by a vehicle designed to mitigate the impact resulting from an accident and protect the passengers. Additionally, due to their small size, motorcycles are more likely to be missed by other drivers or hidden in blind spots.
Is a motorcycle inherently dangerous?
There are undeniable components to riding a motorcycle that increase the risk of injury or a collision. Many would agree that riding a motorcycle requires the driver to regulate more variables than an individual who drives a passenger vehicle. These additional components can not only be more physically or mentally taxing for a motorcyclist, but also create more opportunities for a mistake to occur that has dire consequences for the rider.
Having said that, the real “danger” that is often associated with riding a motorcycle usually stems from extraneous factors that are either out of control of the motorcyclist or were the direct result of the motorcyclist making irresponsible decisions on the road. For example, weather can be a contributing factor that effects how dangerous a motorcycle can be. Additionally, poor decisions from the motorcyclist can also increase the risk of riding a motorcycle, such as failing to wear a helmet, speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol. If these contributing factors are at play while an individual is riding a motorcycle, it can be a truly dangerous activity.
While you cannot always control how other drivers behave on the road, a motorcyclist is always able to control how safely he or she rides. Perhaps the best thing that a motorcyclist can do to ride a motorcycle safely is to ride in a manner that improves their visibility to other drivers on the road. This means that the motorcyclist avoids riding in the blind spots of cars or tailgating. Many individuals recommend that motorcyclists should drive under the assumption that other drivers cannot see them to encourage safe driving practices. Another way people can ride motorcycles safely is to drive defensively. Driving defensively means that you ride with heightened caution. In other words, defensive driving means that the motorcyclist adheres to all traffic laws, ensures space between their bike and other traffic, and properly signals for every turn.
Furthermore, motorcyclists can ride a motorcycle safely by being familiar with the bike and having a strong understanding of the bike’s handling and capabilities. This level of understanding of a motorcycle helps ensure that the driver will be able to exert control over the motorcycle. Finally, wearing the proper safety gear is another element of safely riding a motorcycle. Wearing a helmet to protect the riders head and jackets or pants that prevent road rash are all designed to protect motorcyclists in bother severe and minor motorcycle accidents. Exercising all these precautions while operating a motorcycle can help ensure that you safely arrive at your destination.
How much does the motorcycle safety course cost?
When it comes to finding a motorcycle safety course, there are many options in Pennsylvania. One of the best options is a course offered by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation known as the Motorcycle Safety Program, which is free for all Pennsylvania residents. The Program offers two beginner courses and two advanced courses, so riders of all experience levels can learn about motorcycle safety in Pennsylvania. For non-Pennsylvania residents who are interested in the Motorcycle Safety Program, you can still attend by paying a minimal fee of $100-$250, depending on the course the individual wishes to take.
Stuart A. Carpey, who has been practicing as an attorney since 1987, focuses his practice on complex civil litigation which includes representing injured individuals in a vast array of personal injury cases.