While motorcycle accidents occur at about the same frequency as passenger vehicle accidents, the seriousness of injuries is much greater. Motorcycle accidents occur for many of the same reasons as car accidents, but are much more likely to result in serious injury or death. According to a study done by the federal government, motorcyclists are 35 times more likely to die in an accident than passenger vehicle drivers. This is because motorcyclists have to worry about all of the same risks as people in cars, and a few extras that are unique to riding a motorcycle. If you or a friend uses a motorcycle, it is crucial that you read up on these dangers so you can stay safe. Be sure to understand the risks of driving generally (link to car accidents page) as well as the risks unique to riding a motorcycle.
Many people who ride motorcycles love the sense of freedom and independence that being open to the air gives them. But because motorcycles are small and there is so little padding between the driver and the road, an accident on a motorcycle is more dangerous than on any other vehicle. In a crash, a motorcyclist risks being crushed or run over by other vehicles, skidding across pavement at freeway speeds, having their motorcycle pin them to the ground, and any number of other injuries that are amplified by their lack of protection.
Motorcycles are also much harder to see than other vehicles. As a result, more than half of all motorcycle fatalities occur because of head on collisions. These situations almost always occur because someone driving a car simply did not see the motorcyclist until it was too late. Another danger that presents itself to motorcyclists is other vehicles making left hand turns. Often a vehicle turning left will run right into a motorcycle going straight through the intersection. As in the previous situation, the person driving the car or truck just won’t see the motorcycle until nothing can be done. While the other motorist will usually be at fault, situations like these result in almost 42% of motorcycle fatalities.
At least 25% of motorcycle accidents are caused by fixed objects and road conditions. This means the driver hitting a pothole, an object in the middle of the street, a light post, or the road being wet or icy. While these risks also affect other sorts of drivers, people on motorcycles have to be especially aware of things in the road or weather conditions that will endanger them because of their unique vulnerability.
In a perfect world, there would be no motor vehicle accidents. While driving in any sort of vehicle, car, truck, or motorcycle, will never be 100% safe, there is much that can be done to make transportation as safe as it possibly can be.