Riders often repeat the mantra that it’s not if you go down – but when. Managing the hazards that come with riding is a never-ending responsibility on the road, and understanding how to protect yourself is an important first step to staying out there.
Fatalities happen 28 times more often per miles traveled for motorcyclists than those in passenger cars. Riders have to contend with a range of challenges that lead to increased risks, which is why they make up 14% of all traffic fatalities while only comprising 3% of licensed traffic. Because you’re generally the one at-risk, managing the peril can fall squarely on your shoulders.
Your bike can be exhilarating, but the freedom of a motorcycle goes hand-in-hand with the dangers. There are ways to bolster your own safety, and it starts with remembering a few important factors:
- Wearing helmets: Properly licensed protection is your last line of defense to ward off a serious or fatal injury. If every rider involved in an accident in 2018 had worn a helmet, 749 additional motorcyclists would have likely survived their wreck.
- Following laws: Speeding can happen quickly with a motorcycle’s weight-to-power ratio, but legal limits exist for a reason. Around a third of all bike accidents occur while the rider is speeding, racing or going too fast for road conditions.
- Staying alert: 42% of accidents involving a motorcycle and another vehicle take place when the other driver turns left across traffic. Turning in front of a bike generally happens because of a distracted driver, low visibility or they don’t have line-of-sight, so it’s important to keep an eye out.
While it may not be fair that riders hold the brunt of the safety responsibility, it is often the case. Make sure you know where the risks are, and you could continue traveling on down the road for years to come.