More and more people in the U.S. are choosing to ride motorcycles for everyday transportation and recreation. After all, the gas mileage is great, and it is much easier to park motorcycles in busy metro areas.
Unique Safety Hazards for Motorcycles
Unfortunately, there are several safety hazards associated with motorcycles. Namely, because there is no enclosure that protects the motorcycle driver from impact in a collision with another automobile, or the highway pavement, motorcycles accidents are among the most deadly types of traffic accidents.
In addition, motorcycles are more susceptible to bad road or weather conditions and more difficult to control when a driver makes a small mistake or has to react quickly to another driver's mistake.
Motorcycle Accident Facts:
• Motorcyclists are about 35 times more likely than an occupant of a passenger car to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled, and eight times more likely to be injured.
• The number of fatalities is increasing as the number of motorcycle owners increase. In 2005, motorcycle accident deaths accounted for 10 percent of all crash fatalities. That percentage jumped to 14 percent in 2008.
• The year 2008 marked the 11th year that motorcycle accident deaths increased.
• There are more than 7 million motorcycles registered in the U.S.
• The number of motorcycle deaths of people over the age of 40 has increased in the past ten years.
• In 2008, more than 5200 deaths from motorcycle accidents occurred in the U.S.
• Drivers of "supersport" motorcycles have a four-time higher rate of death than riders of conventional motorcycles, like standards, cruisers, and touring motorcycles.
• The most common injury reported in fatal motorcycle accidents is a head injury.
Causes of Motorcycle Accidents
Nearly 40 percent of all motorcycle deaths involved speeding on the part of the bike driver. Nearly 40 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes with other vehicles happen where the other vehicle was turning left and the motorcycle was going straight, overtaking or passing the other vehicle.
Other common causes of motorcycle accidents include:
• Use of alcohol or drugs by the motorcycle driver
• Undivided roadways
• Poorly maintained road, leading to road conditions like potholes, cracked pavement or loose gravel
• Fatigued motorcycle driver
• Mechanical issues, such as a misaligned tire or brake failure