Motorcycle riding is something that many people stay away from because of the risks involved and even I was very scared at first.
So, is motorcycle riding dangerous? – Yes, motorcycle riding is dangerous but if you think about it for a moment, driving a car or bus can be dangerous too. The only difference is that motorcycling is more dangerous because you are more exposed to dangers and you have nothing to protect you except for the safety gear you wear. You can minimize your chance of having an accident by wearing good protective gear and adhering to the safety laws.
In fact, about 5,000 people were killed in the United States as a result of motorcycle accidents in 2017 and on average between 2000 to 5000 people die every year in the United States, and deaths have risen in recent years. Also, 100,000 people were injured last year.
The number one cause of death among motorcyclists is riders not wearing a helmet. In fact, about 50% of people who have died in accidents in recent years did so because they didn’t wear a helmet.
Here is a list that details the number of deaths and injuries in the United States due to motorcycle accidents from 2000 to 2017.
How dangerous is riding a motorcycle?
I know it sounds like motorcycle riding is very dangerous because of all the above statistics however, it’s not so bad because in most cases the motorcyclist either wasn’t wearing a helmet or was driving under the influence of alcohol.
It might surprise you that 30% of riders who had very serious accidents were drunk.
About 40% of those killed in motorcycle accidents did not wear a helmet.
And about 54% of those killed in a crash were adults over 40, which puts older drivers at a higher risk than younger riders.
Most of those killed and injured in accidents did not wear protective gear or simply did not obey all the safety rules, so I am confident that if you keep to the safety rules that I will show you later, you will be safe.
What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?
Excessive speed – Maybe the most influential reason why all motorcycle accidents are caused is because of the speed at which the rider is travelling, which can cause a fatal collision.
I would personally say that any speed over 120 kph is too fast but bear in mind that you might need to drive faster on some roads, it all depends on where you’re riding. You always need to remember that you have to adjust your speed appropriately to the conditions in which you are riding.
Alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol before riding a motorcycle is the most dangerous thing you can do because you are out of control when driving under the influence of alcohol. As I said before, about 30% of riders who had serious accidents were drunk.
Sudden stop – Maybe a sudden stop when riding is not something that is very common today but I see it loads when I ride. Braking suddenly by mistake while on a busy road can get you seriously injured or even endanger your life therefore, it is very important to always be alert and don’t brake too hard.
Motorcycle maintenance or motorcycle defects – You must check your motorcycle before every ride and make sure it is in good condition, especially the tires, wheels, and brakes. If the brakes or Panzer wheel do not work when riding it can be very dangerous and endanger your life therefore, it is super important to check your motorcycle at least once every two weeks. You also need to know that any damage to your motorcycle that is caused during an accident has a direct contact with the manufacturer.
Bad vision – If you wear glasses you must put them on when riding because riding a motorcycle without good vision will be very difficult, especially in rainy weather.
However, your usual glasses will definitely not suffice and so you will be required to use motorcycle goggles that are suitable for motorcycle riding. If you use lenses I would highly recommend you use sport glasses instead because lenses are less comfortable and constantly having the wind coming in through the glasses are very annoying.
Path split – Split lanes is a very well-known thing that happens almost every day on the roads and it should never be done because not only is it illegal, it is also life-threatening.
Common injuries caused by motorcycle accidents
Head injury – Head injuries are one of the most common injuries among motorcyclists and they are certainly the most deadly because your brain is the heaviest organ in your body and even a little injury can cause brain damage, a concussion or fracture, all of which can be life-threatening.
Also, an interesting fact is that wearing a helmet managed to save about 1,900 people in 2016 from being killed although, 800 people who were killed were wearing a helmet. Some survivors go on to inform the public on the importance of wearing a helmet and it’s understood that about 70 percent of the population use a helmet.
Muscle damage – Muscle injuries can be anywhere in your body and they are very common but easily avoidable if you use protective equipment such as boots, a helmet, gloves, and shields.
Internal injuries – Internal injuries are much less common but they are very deadly and are mainly caused due to glass or any sharp object that pierces the body. Once there is internal bleeding it is imperative to treat it as quickly as possible so as not to make matters worse.
Spinal cord injury – Spinal cord injury may not endanger your life, but it can definitely result in you needing a wheelchair or it can even paralyze you.
Emotional trauma – In my opinion, emotional trauma can happen to every rider injured in an accident and it can often be worse than physical pain because it takes much longer to get better and usually needs treatment by a psychologist or consultant.
Skin erosion – Skin erosion is also called road rash and this is usually caused when the rider is thrown onto the road resulting in serious skin injury.
Burns – Burns are caused by contact with motorcycle fuel in the middle of an accident and in most cases needs a skin graft.
How to be safer when riding a motorcycle
Use a good helmet – Helmets are undoubtedly the number one thing that can save your life and, as I said, they managed to save about 2000 people from death in recent years. In addition, it is very important to use a high-quality, full-featured helmet to ensure that it will protect you in the best way. I personally recommend you go and see the helmets I recommend in my sale page – click here to view.
Make yourself as visible as possible – You must make yourself as visible as possible while riding at night because 10% of fatalities in motorcycle accidents were because other road users did not see them. This means that you must use equipment that illuminates you such as glowing vests, headlights, and anything else that will make you more visible while riding at night. I also recommend you install a flashlight-lamp modular that will make your flashlight flash fast because this will make you very visible when riding at night, and even in the daylight.
Reduce your speed – Riding fast on a motorcycle is undoubtedly life-threatening. 35 percent of those killed in 2008 died because they rode at excessive speeds.
Never ride when you’re under the influence of alcohol — Almost 30% of riders were killed because they were under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol makes you tired, your reactions are slower and you are not in control. This can all lead to a serious accident.
Maintain your motorcycle – Checking your motorcycle is definitely an important thing you must do before every ride.
Maintaining your motorcycle includes:
- Brakes – Checking that your brakes are working is the most important thing you will have to pay attention to.
- Tires and wheels – Make sure there are no scratches or holes in your tires, even the smallest scratch can cause your tire or wheel to explode.
- Lighting – Make sure the headlights and signals work well and provide good enough lighting so you can see the road when you’re riding at night.
Avoid riding in rainy weather – Riding in rainy weather is much more dangerous than riding in dry conditions because it is easier to fall and slip while riding. If you ride in rainy cold weather you must make sure you have appropriate clothes on to avoid burns. If you want to read more about riding in the rain I strongly recommend you go and check out the post I wrote that will show you all the things you need to know about riding in the rain and also tips on how to be safer – click here to view.
Buy Anti-Lock Brakes – For those who don’t know, Anti-Lock Brakes are also called ABS systems and are, in my opinion, a brake system that every motorcyclist should install on their motorcycle, and this is because 37% of accidents would not happen if riders had them. The role of Anti-Lock Brakes is to give you better control over steering and in general, more control when you brake, which is very helpful and it saves lives.
What equipment do you need for motorcycle riding?
The most important thing is to wear a helmet however, lots of riders do not know what helmet to buy. Helmets come in several shapes and sizes but the helmet that most protects you from injuries is a helmet with an interior helmet that protects all of the head. Without a helmet you can lose consciousness or much worse when falling from you bike. Before choosing a helmet it is important to pay attention to the following:
1 The quality of the materials – This is very important because if the quality and strength of the materials is not good enough, the helmet will not be able to protect you, so it is always important to check the quality of materials and to damage the helmet several times to see if the helmet is strong enough to withstand falls.
2 Comfort – Besides the safety element of the helmet, it is also very important that it is comfortable. You need to make sure that there is good cushioning in the interior of the helmet otherwise it will not be comfortable enough on your head and it will be impossible for you to ride long distances if your helmet isn’t comfortable.
3 Ventilation- Ventilation is another important thing to consider, especially on warm summer days. If you have no ventilation openings in the helmet you will suffer from the heat. The ventilation openings cool your head and it is very important to pay attention to where they are on the helmet.
4 Price – Many riders are looking for helmets at a cheap price but the belief is that the cheaper the helmet is, the less quality it will be.
5 Style – It is also very important that you love the design and the way it looks.
If you want to see good helmets, I recommend you read this post I wrote that shows you good helmets – click here to view.
A very important safety item is of course boots. The role of the boots is to keep you from injuring your feet. Boots also help you stay in control of the motorcycle and the soles make you taller so that you can go to the ground and keep control. Many people make so many mistakes when buying their boots so it is very important that you pay attention to the following important details:
1 Materials and level of protection – It is undoubtedly very important that you have sufficiently hard and strong materials in your boots.
2 Convenience – Comfort and fit is very important because if the boots are a little small or too big, or just plain uncomfortable, you can suffer leg warts and injuries so it is very important to choose a comfortable and suitable boot for your foot.
3 Weight – It is important that the weight of the boot is not too light and not too heavy.
I recommend buying these amazing boots from Amazon that are sold at a very good price. They are one of the best motorcycle boots that you can find today – click here to view.
Gloves are very important and many riders do not wear them anymore but they are definitely a very important safety item because they protect you from injuries and give you a much better grip and control on the handlebar.
Size – It is very important that the size of the gloves are suitable for your hands.
Material – There are lots of gloves made from different materials. It is very important to choose the material you like and the material that is most comfortable to ride with. For example, my favorite materials are leather and rubber.
Also, I recommend you see my recommended gloves page – click here to view.
Pants are very important, not only to protect the lower body but also because they have a special fabric that is very elastic and resistant to falls, which means that the pants will protect all parts of the body that have no shields and will save you a lot of money and torn pants.
1 Material – The higher the quality of the materials from which the pants are made, the better the user will survive from falls and crashes. They’re also less likely to tear quickly.
2 Comfort – It’s very important that the pants are comfortable enough on your thighs and against your skin.
3 Ventilation – It is very important that there are enough ventilation openings so that they are not annoying and scratching.
4 Style – It is very important that you love how the pants look.
Body armor is undoubtedly one of the most important things to protect your body. The role of body armor is to protect the upper part of the body and especially your spine. Many riders do not know how to choose body armor therefore, you should pay attention to all of the following things before you choose some:
1 The quality of the materials – It is very important to choose strong materials that can protect your body in the best possible way.
2 Weight – It is very important to choose body armor that does not weigh too much otherwise it will be uncomfortable and heavy on your body. Armoring a body as heavy as possible can cause pressure on the spine and back which can lead to problems and back pain.
3 Ventilation – It is very important that there are ventilators inside the body armor otherwise you will suffer from irritation and itching on your body.
Why do you need a shirt for motorcycle riding? The truth is that you do not have to wear a shirt, it’s just that for some people this is very important to them. The role of the shirt is to add a layer of protection to your skin and wearing a shirt will protect your skin from sunbeams on very hot days. It is a very beautiful and cool thing to have but pay attention to the following things before you choose a shirt:
1 Materials – Each person has materials that they prefer and I tell you to choose the materials that are most comfortable for you. I personally recommend elastic rubber but everyone is different. Just take note that the materials are of a high enough quality to withstand falls.
2 Fit – It is very important to choose a shirt that suits you and is a good fit. I highly recommend shirts with large, wide sleeves that are very comfortable to travel in.
3 Ventilation – Not every shirt needs ventilation openings however, the shirt is very tight and having ventilation openings would certainly be beneficial to you.
4 Style – Choose a shirt that you like. I recommend that you choose a shirt that suits the color of your pants and your motorcycle.
To summarize today, I have shown you all the things you need to know about the dangers of riding a motorcycle and also how to be safer when riding.
Thanks for your riding. Until next time.