Is there really anything better than taking out your motorcycle for the first ride of the season? The road in front of you, the cold weather behind you — it really is a blissful moment. Unfortunately, not every experience on a bike is a pleasant one. Accidents happen every day, resulting in serious injury and, in some cases, death.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the number motorcyclist deaths in the United States has stayed relatively the same since 1985. Additionally, the injury rate for motorcyclists has stayed relatively the same since 2006, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
What may be surprising, though, is that the fatality rate for motorcycles is about 5 times higher than the fatality rate for passenger vehicles. The reason, though, is quite simple. Cars automatically provide protection to passengers in the event of a wreck. Moreover, new technology has made riding in a car much safer.
When a motorcyclist is in a wreck, there is little to no protection for them. They are thrown from their bike onto the ground. The only real advancements in safety technology have been safer helmets and better-padded clothing, but these offer far less protection than what passenger vehicles provide. Perhaps that’s why motorcycle injury and fatality rates have remained relatively the same through the years.
That’s not to say bikers should forego wearing helmets and proper clothing; the right gear saves lives every day. But getting onto a motorcycle instead of into a car does carry substantial risk.
Similarly, the roads that motorcyclists ride have also become more complex, and therefore potentially more dangerous, with the difficulty increasing as well the amount of other motor vehicles on the road.