People who ride motorcycles face a high risk of accidents and injuries. There are various factors involved in this, and many crashes are preventable.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traffic accidents result in fatalities 29 times more in motorcyclists than motorists. Both motorists and motorcyclists can play a role in reducing injuries and death.
Role of motorcyclists
Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to reduce serious injuries and fatalities. Studies show that helmet use in motorcycle crashes results in fewer deaths and a decrease in moderate and serious injuries.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses that taking a rider education course is also important, as riding a motorcycle requires different knowledge and skills. A motorcyclist should also practice the skills learned in a controlled area before taking the bike out in traffic.
Helmets provide essential protection to the skull and brain, but riders should also wear body protection. This includes heavy denim or leather, ankle-covering boots and gloves. Clothing should also be bright or reflective to make motorcyclists more visible to other drivers.
Motorcyclists should obey all traffic laws and leave ample room between them and other vehicles on the road. They should also drive defensively, especially at intersections, as they are less visible to other drivers.
Role of motorists
One common reason for accidents involving motorcycles is that motorists have difficulty seeing them due to their size. Being more aware is one way to reduce crashes. It also helps if motorists understand how riding practices, such as weaving and downshifting, are different for motorcyclists. This allows drivers to better anticipate a motorcyclist’s moves so they can respond appropriately.