Are Motorcycles Dangerous?
It is time to look at every parent’s worst nightmare, or close to it. Little Timmy gets home from school, takes his parents to the dining room table and with a big grin on his face announces to the world that he is going to buy a motorcycle. Then begins the age old argument with his parents, where they tell little Timmy that they don’t want him to die. They tell him that most likely very soon he will be severely injured for life and probably in a wheelchair.
This is the scenario that has played out in many households throughout the world, but really, are motorcycles dangerous?
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Crashes Hurt More
One straight forward fact about motorcycle riding is that if you are in an accident you have a much higher chance of sustaining severe injuries, in comparison to if you were in the same accident in a car. So what we will look at is avoiding those accidents and then protecting ourselves if we are in them.
Other Vehicles On The Road
Other vehicles on the road are my biggest safety concern when I am motorcycle riding. Even if you have never ridden a motorcycle before you will be well aware of the car drivers on the road who just don’t seem to look before turning or merging, this is increased significantly when you are riding a motorcycle, which is much smaller than a car, there are many drivers who just don’t see you.
So how can you improve your chances of not being hit by another vehicle?
- Choose your battles – You don’t have to ride your motorcycle in heavily built-up areas when there are plenty of back roads to explore. Put simply, you can choose to ride with their lists other vehicles around so that you have much greater control of your surroundings. Motorcycle riding in rural areas is much more relaxing and enjoyable.
- Be patient – Give other vehicles on the road a wide berth and think twice before cutting between cars. A motorcycle is not the vehicle to be riding if you want to be aggressive and play chicken with cars, buy a monster truck.
The Rider Is The Greatest Factor
So much about motorcycle safety comes down to the rider. Personally, I believe that it is a huge benefit for riders to have at least a few years of experience driving cars before riding motorcycles on public roads. The reason behind this is that it will then provide the motorcycle rider with the ability to better predict the actions and mistakes that other drivers will make, increasing the motorcycle riders chances to avoid a potential accident. This also provides the motorcycle rider experience in the things not to do. For example, you will quickly learn that braking distances are significantly increased in the wet, which is a lesson much better learned first in a car.
There are certain car drivers who should never become motorcycle riders. These are the sorts of people who scare their passengers (even though they may be doing the speed limit) and are nearly in motor vehicle accidents every time that they get behind the wheel. It is these sorts of people who add unnecessary risk to motorcycle riding. It is definitely possible to have someone who rides fast and safely, as well as someone else who rides slowly yet is a danger to themselves and everyone around them.
You will always have the brand-new riders who want to jump straight on to a Yamaha R1 or Suzuki GSXR and chase each other through the corners, before they have a reasonable level of skill. These riders hurt themselves unnecessarily. There are so many excellent programs available all over the world for increasing your motorcycle riding skills, yet people would prefer to spend that extra money on a brand new leather suit, although their current one may be perfectly OK, just not the correct brand. Leave your ego at home when you are riding.
You will also have many uneducated motorcycle riders who choose not to wear the correct safety gear at all times. It is these people who then end up with permanent scars, or worse, when wearing the correct safety gear may have seen them with little more than a bruised ego. These are the statistics that would not be statistics if people just used common sense. Those with twisted minds may call “Darwin’s Theory Of Evolution” into play at this point.
The road is hard, your skin and bones are soft, it’s not rocket science. These riders who do not wear the correct gear are given the slang name of “squids”. Also read “All The Gear All The Time“.
Can You Kill Yourself On A Motorcycle?
Absolutely you can. However, you could also kill yourself driving a car or doing almost anything else in the world. You would severely injure yourself if you decided to throw a cup of water into a pot of hot oil, yet people do not consider cooking to be a dangerous activity, as most people know how to control the risks.
Will You Kill Yourself On A Motorcycle?
Although there is an increased risk of harm when riding a motorcycle, so many of the factors can be controlled by the individual. You need to be sure that you have the correct frame of mind as well as being extremely aware of your surroundings.
Remove the question of “are motorcycles dangerous” and instead look at how you can reduce the risks of whichever activity you wish to enjoy.
There are plenty of old motorcycle riders.
What are your thoughts, are motorcycles dangerous? Leave a comment below.
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