Are Motorcycle Accidents Common?

Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycles are perceived as more dangerous than cars by their very nature. They don’t have seatbelts, riders are out in the open (instead of enclosed inside the vehicle), and not all riders wear helmets.

But while motorcycle accidents appear to be more dangerous than car accidents, are motorcycle accidents actually common?

Statistics surrounding motorcycle accidents

According to the NHTSA: “The latest data on vehicle miles traveled shows that motorcyclists are about 28 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash.”

While motorcycle accidents aren’t necessarily more frequent than car accidents, they are more likely to result in serious injury.

Tips to ensure safety

Whether driving a motorcycle or any other vehicle, it’s important for the driver to get used to the vehicle, learn the laws of the road, and never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Motorcycles do not necessarily lead to accidents more often than other vehicles, even if they might be harder to see on the road because of their small size and other cars’ blind spots. In many cases, it comes down to the driver and how well-trained he or she is with motorcycles.

If you’re planning to take a motorcycle or similar bike out on the road, it’s essential to follow these safety procedures (via the NHTSA):

  • Practice makes perfect: Motorcycles do not ride the same as cars, so it’s important to get used to your vehicle’s handling and responsiveness before you take it into traffic. Get used to starting, stopping, turning, and the overall feel of your motorcycle, just like you would with a car.
  • Make sure your motorcycle is safe: Before a ride, check the tire pressure, tread depth, headlights, fluid levels, signal indicators, and brakes (both for hands and feet). It’s also important to check for oil or gas leaks.
  • Wear proper equipment: A helmet is a must. Covering your legs and arms with heavy and protective material, such as denim or leather, can help to protect you from injury. Wearing gloves alongside proper foot or boot wear (which covers above your ankles) can protect you during an injury and give you more grip while riding. You can also wear bright colors or reflective material to make you more visible to other drivers.
  • Know the rules of the road: this includes traffic signs and lane markings. There are many resources out there, from the DMV to motorcycle accident lawyers.
  • No alcohol or drugs while riding: 25 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2016 involved alcohol, compared to 21 percent of fatal passenger car crashes. 

What to do if an accident occurs

If an accident occurs, it’s important to stop your vehicle and get out. However, to ensure further damage isn’t caused, set up flares or turn on your hazard lights. If you are not seriously injured and your motorcycle is movable, you should move your vehicle to the shoulder of the road. It’s important to move to a safe area so no further damage is caused and you’re not out in the open while you call 911 and exchange insurance information (if another driver was involved).

It’s important to receive medical attention after a motorcycle accident, even if your symptoms don’t seem severe at the time. Dizziness can become a more severe problem later, and some people don’t notice pain until the day after an accident.

People might not seek medical attention because they don’t sense a head or back injury, but other issues can arise, such as orofacial pain, which is pain in the face (particularly the mouth or jaw region). While orofacial pain relief is certainly possible, trauma can be caused by automobile accidents and it’s important to take precautions. Head and back injuries might be commonly associated with car accidents, but orofacial pain is another problem that commonly occurs after automobile accidents.

Motorcycle accidents aren’t more frequent than other vehicle accidents, but they are more dangerous. It’s essential to follow the safety rules mapped out above during every ride.

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