Riding a motorcycle is one of the most thrilling things you can do. That sense of freedom can hardly be compared to anything else. Still, motorcycling also can be dangerous. Statistics figures are relentless, they’re showing that, only in 2019, 5,014 motorcyclists died in crashes. It’s almost 14 casualties per day. Unfortunately, the death rate continues to grow in following years.
Statistics for bicycle accidents shows that bicyclists are in a bit better position than motorcyclists. However, according to the NHTSA, 846 bicyclists have been killed in traffic in 2019 only.
Having in mind these figures, we want to point out the importance of the safety on the road and present to you basic differences between motorcycle and bicycle accident cases. Hopefully, it will give you a better overview about your potential accident and what to do if it happens. Even though you can’t predict the accident, you can ask for professional help and try to neutralize the damage caused by it.
Motorcyclists are more vulnerable to serious injury than drivers in cars are. The rider has little protection between him or herself and the ground, cars, or other obstacles that may cause injury.
In 2017, nearly 5,000 motorcyclists died in traffic crashes and over 81,000 were injured on U.S. roadways. While motorcycles only account for 3% of all registered vehicles and 0.7% of all vehicle miles traveled in 2017, motorcyclists accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities, and more than 80% of these involved collisions with another vehicle
Due to lower speed, bicyclist casualties are less frequent, but it doesn’t mean they don’t happen. Of course they do! NHTSA says there are 3 reported fatal accidents involving bicyclists on the U.S. roads per day.
If you’re riding a bicycle, a helmet is an essential item of safety equipment, but it can only do its job if it fits properly. The following tips will help you make sure that your helmet is snug and secure, enabling the helmet to absorb impact in the event of a collision:
- Make sure the helmet fits snugly on your head, and isn’t tilted backwards or forwards. If it’s too loose, tighten the straps. If it’s too tight, loosen them up a bit.
- Most helmets have adjustable straps that allow for fine-tuning the fit around the ears and chin area. Make sure these straps are snug and comfortable, and that they hold the helmet in place without letting it shift or tilt around when you move your head.
- When you put your helmet on, try pushing it to different areas of your head while holding it in place with your hand—if there’s room for the helmet to slide around on your head even after tightening the straps, then it doesn’t fit properly and may not provide adequate protection in an accident.
When riding a bicycle, the rider is less protected than someone who rides a motorcycle. This means that if they get into an accident and are hit by a car, they are more likely to suffer severe injuries.
However, speed is a critical factor. Studies are showing that 80% of motorcycle crashes result in severe injuries or death.
The severity of injuries depends on several factors such as speed and angle of impact, but there are common types that occur with all types of accidents involving motorcycles. Injuries resulting from these include: broken bones, brain injuries like concussions or contusions; spinal cord injuries which result in paralysis; burns and other disfigurement; amputation or loss of limbs; internal bleeding; organ damage; loss of vision or hearing due to trauma; and death.
Some injuries are not always immediately apparent. More serious injuries may not become apparent until some time after the accident has occurred. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident it is important to seek medical attention right away even if you don’t believe your injuries are serious.
When you ride a motorcycle or a bicycle, you have the same responsibilities on the road as someone driving a car. You must follow all traffic laws and yield to pedestrians. You must obey all traffic control devices, including stop signs and stop lights, even if there is no one else at the intersection.
However, the enforcement of these rules can be a bit trickier when it comes to bicyclists. Many bicyclists do not feel that they are required to stop at a stop sign if no one is at the stop light. However, both bicyclists and motorcyclists can be charged with reckless and careless driving if they disobey traffic laws or ride in an unsafe manner.
In addition, both bicyclists and motorcyclists can be charged with reckless or careless driving. These positions are held by several state governments across the United States, although they vary slightly from state to state.
Accidents happen. And the sad truth is that they will always happen. But there are a few steps you can take to lessen their likelihood and severity.
First, don’t get intoxicated. Stay out of alcohol and drugs, including some prescribed medications. It negatively affects your judgment and vehicle control.
Second, Obey traffic lights, signs, speed limits, and lane markings; ride with the flow of traffic and leave plenty of room between your bike and other vehicles.
Third, wear sturdy protective gear. Your motorcycle or bicycle helmet should meet U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) standards.
Last but not least, defensive driving means watching out for other drivers who may not be watching out for you. To stay safe on the road: avoid being in a driver’s blind spot; watch out for cars that might pull out in front of you from driveways or side streets; be extra cautious at intersections—especially when drivers are making left turns; don’t “lane split” or weave through traffic in heavy congestion or poor visibility conditions; keep a constant lookout for road hazards such as potholes or gravel; allow extra stopping distance on wet or slippery roads; be alert for pedestrians or bicyclists who may move into your path; avoid sudden braking if a vehicle behind.
Follow those tips, stay safe on the road and try to get out of national statistics. That’s the key to your long and safe ride.