Injuries, Fatalities and Rider Education
Riding a motorcycle is a continuous learning process. So this means if you are a new motorcyclist you have a lot to learn and if you are an experienced rider, you have even more to learn. There are about 2,500 skills that are used in riding a motorcycle. This is one of the reasons it is important for new riders and experienced motorcyclists that have not ridden for a period of time to reacquaint yourself with the bike. Get used to the feel of the road and traffic on the roadway again. It is easy for anyone on the road to make a mistake and no driver or motorcyclists is so experienced they cannot make errors. This is true especially with, the traffic congestion on the roadways, the conditions of roads. Plus add to that whether that may not be cohesive to motorcycles.
There are more drivers and motor vehicles on the road than ever before in a while without motorists are more distracted than ever. This can put a motorcyclist in in jeopardy of being harmed. There are some things the motorcyclist can do to help reduce the risk of being involved in a mix-up with the larger and heavier motor vehicle. The first thing to realize is that being on a motorcycle makes you invisible to a large percentage of drivers. The largest percentages of motorcycle crashes, between 40% and 75% involve another motorist, with the highest percentage of these incidences occurring, when the driver of the vehicle turns in front of the motorcyclist at intersections. Many of these drivers the police they never saw the bike before the collision.
The things motorcyclists can do is to wear a light colored helmet, ride with the headlamp on, and wear a bright colored shirt or jacket to be more visible. This does not mean the driver will change their story and say they saw the motorcyclist, but it can keep the rider a little safer by being more visible.
Motorcyclists have the same rights as every other vehicle on the road, but as a rider never take this for granted. That is just the way it is, motorcycles are not treated the same by many drives as they would another car, truck or SUV. Once a rider accepts that they are treated differently than when driving a vehicle it can make them more alert to the dangers and avoid going down on the bike.
The hints to stay safe include watching your mirrors; use the mirrors to check before changing lanes and knowing how far behind another vehicle is in your lane. The rider should continually have an awareness of traffic all the way around them. Stay focused on other risks like road conditions and debris, but at the same time once you have these good riding habits you can relax and enjoy the ride.
Knowing about your bike mechanics and maintenance is important. Also, it is essential to realize that it is going to take some miles before you are comfortable and confident on a new or new to your motorcycle. The tires should be inspected regularly and the overall condition of the bike.
Bikers need to remember and understand that riding and staying safe takes skill, using their eyes, hands, feet, and mind. This is why even for the experienced rider who hasn’t been on a bike in a while or the inexperienced rider practices. In fact, a safety course should be considered.
There are other riding issues with motorcycles, like weather conditions. Rain can be treacherous for even the most experienced rider. This is a situation that can make a rider panic and they need to have total control and be comfortable using the breaks in inclement weather. Breaks are important to know how to use and when, since it is easy to get a bike to go, but knowing how and when to hit the brakes is a different story. This is because on a bike approximately 70% of stopping power is done with the front brake and in some situations, it can be pushed up to more than 90 %. The motorcyclist needs to know about using the front and rear brakes together close to the point of lock-up.
Practicing this should be done in a parking lot that is not busy, where it is possible to practice enough to become comfortable with stopping under different conditions. Learning cornering on different pavement and conditions is also important to feel confident. In doing these things, if it is important to have a little guidance, then consider taking a rider’s safety course. There are ones set up for the novice or the highly experienced rider.
The statistics for motorcyclists showed in 2006 they were approximately 35 times more likely to die in a traffic-related crash than a driver of a passenger vehicle or its occupants. Riders are also about eight times more likely to be injured, than drivers of other vehicles. These rates continue to increase, since the registration of motorcycles increases annually.
In 2007 it came to light that approximately 26% of the motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were riding without a valid motorcycle license. Having a motorcycle license is important. It is the same as driving a passenger vehicle without one and can result in legal problems if you are caught riding without one. There is also a percentage of motorcyclists that had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher involved in both injury and fatal crashes in 2007. These were motorcyclists that were legally drunk riding on the roadway on their bike.