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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 20, 2015/ Troy Media/ – Motorcycles not only account for the highest number of accidents on the road, but also some of the worst accidents imaginable, which often lead to serious injuries and death.
According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 88,000 motorcyclists were injured in motorcycle accidents in 2013, with an additional 4,668 motorcyclists dying as a result of the accident.
While these statistics have been falling due to increased safety, motorcyclists are still 26 times more likely to be involved in accidents compared to car accidents. Why is the risk of motorcycle accidents so high, and why are motorcyclists more at risk of fatal injuries and death?
Motorcycle accidents occur because of a lack of safety features included in cars
Unlike car drivers who are enclosed in a metallic compartment while driving, motorcyclists are unprotected as motorcycles are streamlined and open. This significantly increases the risk of the motorcyclist’s impact with the ground and objects on the road, as the force of a crash often sends them flying from the bike.
Modern motorcycles are now incorporating safety features such as anti-lock brakes. However, these are still inadequate and inefficient compared to cars which include seatbelts and airbags. It is these features that primarily protect the car’s occupants, thus reducing the risks of injuries and death.
“One of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents in San Diego is the other driver’s failure to see the motorcycle,” writes seriousaccidents.com. “According to a Hurt Report on motorcycle crash causes, nearly 45 per cent of motorcycle accidents involve serious injury.”
As I’ve already mentioned, motorcycles are streamlined and quite small when compared to cars. This makes them hard to spot, especially for reckless and absent-minded drivers, increasing the chances of car-motorcycle accidents. What’s more, they are lighter, and as such succumb easily to external pressure such as strong winds, skidding, and moving water.
Safety tips for motorcyclists
It is possible to reduce the chances of an accident and safeguard your well-being by following the correct safety measures.
Utilize all safety features: The most important is your helmet. It encloses your head, keeping it safe from the ground and other objects that may cause fatal head injuries. Riding jackets help highlight your presence and position on the road as they are reflective, allowing other motorists to see you. They are also made with leather or tough fibers that are hard to tear, ensuring your skin is protected from the open road in case of an accident. The motorcycle itself should include modern safety features, such as anti-lock brakes and airbags.
Drive defensively: Driving defensively requires that you focus all your attention on the road to identify and avoid road hazards and potential accidents early. As such, ensure you check your speed, monitor the motorists behind and in front of you constantly, and give all the right signals when necessary. Signals allow road users to communicate and hence coordinate.
Don’t ride in bad weather: Bad weather such as rain, snow, and fog significantly increase the risks of accidents for both motorcyclists and drivers. For starters, they hinder visibility and increase the risks of cars crashing into other cars, motorcycles, or people and objects on the road. Rain and snow, on the other hand, make roads slippery and increase the chances of skidding and sliding.
Implement these tips when you spot potential accidents to avoid adding to the sorrow and grief already caused by accidents involving motorcycles. Above everything else, ensure your safety and the safety of other users on the road by riding defensively.
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