Smaller, trickier to maneuver, open to the elements and less visible to drivers, motorcycles pose unique safety issues. Additionally, unlike a vehicle, a bike provides very little protection to the rider, greatly increasing the risk of injury during even a minor collision.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently reported that U.S. bikers are 27 times more likely to die in a collision than occupants of passenger vehicles. That makes it important for both riders and drivers to obey traffic laws and exercise caution when sharing the road.
1. Helmet use can save lives
Traumatic head injuries are one of the leading causes of rider fatalities. The CDC notes that wearing a helmet may reduce the risk of deadly injury by as much as 37% and reduce the risk of head or brain trauma by 69%.
2. The average age for motorcycle fatalities has increased
The average age of American motorcyclists has increased dramatically over the past three decades, and more fatalities now involve older riders. In 1989 only 5% of motorcycle deaths involved a rider age 50 or older. In 2018, older bikers accounted for 37% of motorcycle fatalities. Unfortunately, these riders may face worse injuries and take longer to recover from them.
3. Auto drivers are often responsible for crashes
Though many people associate motorcyclists with reckless behavior on the road, it is often the negligence of the auto driver that leads to a crash.
According to the NHTSA 2017 report on traffic safety, 42% of fatal collisions involving a motorcycle and another type of vehicle occurred when the driver made a left turn while a motorcycle was moving in a straight line, overtaking other vehicles or passing.