It’s not always clear exactly how dangerous motorcycle accidents are, at least when compared to other car accidents. For instance, there are roughly 40,000 fatal accidents every year, but only a few thousand of them involve motorcycles. Some people read these statistics and decide that this means motorcycles are safer.
But they’re not. There are just far fewer motorcycles in America, and even those who own motorcycles don’t ride them as much as they drive cars. You have to compare fatal accidents per miles traveled in order to look at the two data sets appropriately. When you do this, you find that motorcycle accidents are 29 times as likely to be fatal.
Why are they so dangerous?
This is an astounding number. If someone told you there was something you could do to cut your accident odds in half when you’re in the car, you’d be glad to do it. You certainly wouldn’t do anything that would double your fatal accident odds. But riding a motorcycle increases them by much more than 100%.
This danger exists for a few reasons. For one thing, many drivers of other vehicles will make mistakes and hit motorcycles. In some cases, they say that they never saw the motorcycle. These small vehicles can get missed in blind spots, and many drivers are fairly unaware of the type of vehicles they’re sharing the road with. Motorcycle awareness is important, and that’s why you see billboards reminding drivers.
The other part of the danger is simply that motorcyclists don’t have as much physical protection when they get involved in a wreck. That motorcyclist can do everything in their power to stay safe, but another driver may make a mistake and cause an accident. That other driver might not suffer any injuries at all, but the motorcyclist can be thrown from their bike and suffer severe injuries.
What are your options?
If you ride, you do need to be aware of the risks that you face. You also need to know what your options are if you get injured by another driver or if a loved one passes away.