Motorcycle Riding Safety: What You Need To Know
Bill Allen | November 28, 2022 | Motorcycle Accident
Generally speaking, motorcycles are designed and regulated to maximize the safety of their riders. But the nature of motorcycles makes them inherently dangerous on many levels. Additionally, the safety of a motorcycle in any given road situation depends heavily on how safely the motorcyclist and others on the road drive.
A motorcycle can provide safe transport in many instances, even though an element of danger is always present.
Dangerous Aspects of Motorcycles
Various aspects of motorcycles make them one of the most dangerous types of transportation on the road, principally for riders and their passengers.
One of these factors is that motorcycles have only two wheels. Two-wheeled vehicles are much less stable than three- and four-wheeled ones and can experience dangerous situations like a death wobble, where uncontrollable shaking overcomes a motorcycle until it crashes.
In the case of bad road conditions, such as deteriorated or weather-affected roadways, motorcycles have a tougher time remaining safe and stable. Slippery and damaged surfaces are frequent causes of spills and slides.
No Protective Shell
As you know, motorcycles don’t have protective shells as cars do. This lack of encasing alone makes motorcycles far more dangerous than cars. Without any protection, even a minor collision can cause serious bodily injury or death for a motorcycle rider.
Additionally, without a protective shell, motorcyclists are routinely thrown from their motorcycles at high rates of speed. The result is typically very serious injury or death.
Many of the motorcyclists killed on the nation’s highways are inexperienced and not even licensed. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), up to 36% of riders killed each year are unlicensed or not properly licensed to ride motorcycles.
Ineffective Helmet Laws
In Florida, there is an exception in the law that permits motorcycle riders to ride without helmets. If a rider is 21 years of age or older and has at least $10,000 in medical coverage, they can choose to ride without a helmet.
Given the fact that motorcycle helmets reduce head injury incidents by up to 69% and death by up to 41%, the exception to wearing helmets makes motorcycles more dangerous.
Compensating for Reduced Motorcycle Safety
In all cases, a skilled, law-abiding motorcyclist raises the safety profile of a motorcycle. They can handle all normal road situations as well as many dangerous contexts. However, no matter how competent and aware a motorcyclist may be, a negligent or reckless driver can turn a perfectly safe situation into a traffic nightmare.
All motorcyclists and passengers should always take the minimum steps necessary to help ensure their safety on the roadways, including:
- Wearing a helmet, regardless of the exception
- Wearing protective, full-length clothing
- Checking for poor weather conditions
- Knowing the route and potentially rough patches in the road
- Not speeding
- Always inspecting the motorcycle before riding
- Riding the most appropriate motorcycle
Finally, it is crucial to ride defensively. Defensive riding means being extra prepared for the worst to help ensure the worst does not occur. This includes always wearing safety clothing and equipment, knowing and obeying all relevant traffic laws, and riding in a way that anticipates problems.
Whether a motorcycle is safe depends largely on the rider of the motorcycle and the context in which they find themselves. If the weather is bad and the road is rough, motorcycle riding can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced riders lacking the proper training and safety equipment.
However, a skilled, defensive rider can maintain a safe riding environment on most occasions.
Contact Our Gainesville Motorcycle Accident Law Firm in North Central Florida
If you need legal assistance, contact the Gainesville motorcycle accident lawyers at Allen Law Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
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