Motorcycle riders face higher risks than most motorists. Without the protective frame of a car or four-wheels for balance, crashes are more likely fatal for bikers. Though helmets and protective gear increase safety, the driving habits of other drivers can help save lives.
Concerned drivers may improve their awareness and safe driving by learning some key facts about motorcycles.
Motorcycle safety by the numbers
In 2018, nearly 5,000 people lost their lives in motorcycle accidents. There is no data on the exact number of motorcycle accidents in the United States that year, but riders take up a disproportionate segment of traffic deaths. The statistics yield some interesting conclusions:
- Among vehicles on the road, motorcycles only take up 3%. However, they disproportionately account for 14% of annual traffic-related deaths.
- Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to die in a traffic accident than those in cars.
- By the numbers, four significant events cause most motorcycle accidents: Speeding, alcohol use, cars making left-hand turns, and lane splitting.
- Helmets lower the risk of head injury by about 69%. Experts believe that helmets could have saved over 700 lives in 2018. Despite this, only 50% of motorcycle riders wear helmets in states without helmet laws.
- Close to 75% of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Among these, 67% occur when another driver violates a biker’s right of way.
- Over 90% of bikers involved in a crash did not take motorcycle safety courses for training. They learned to ride from a family member or by themselves.
Help make the roads safer for everyone
Motorcyclists should take all available safety precautions when riding. Helmets, protective clothes and reflective markers improve motorcycle safety on the road. Drivers need to do their part too by regularly checking for motorcyclists and yielding the right of way when necessary. Drivers with questions about liability in a personal injury case involving a motorcycle could find answers working with a local lawyer experienced in these matters.