Motorcyclists face unique risks when out on the road. You are not afforded the same protections as a driver of a car or truck since your body is exposed to the elements, and therefore, other vehicles. For this reason, motorcycle accidents are significantly more lethal than most other types of vehicle collisions. According to studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those riding motorcycles are 35 times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than individuals driving cars. For the maximum protection against these staggering statistics of motorcycle accidents (as to not become a statistic), it important to be fully aware of the dangers of riding a motorcycle. You must always wear your helmet and practice these safety strategies below when out on your motorcycle.
Why You Should Always Wear a Helmet When Riding a Motorcycle
Firstly, bikers who wear helmets when operating their motorcycle are far less likely to experience head injuries in a collision. Many bikers resist the inclusion of helmets into their biking attire due to trivial reasons such as slight discomfort or messing up hairstyles. Consider these inconveniences in light of the helmet’s life-saving potential, and your mind is likely to change rather quickly.
Though the wearing of helmets is surrounded by complaints of these simple troubles and even wildly inaccurate myths, statistics do not lie. The vast majority of deaths related to bicycles and motorcycle accidents are attributed to head injuries. Although a helmet does not entirely prevent cranial injuries, they provide a cushion for the impact, reducing the probability of your injury becoming fatal (specifically, by 42%). Your chances of experiencing a head injury at all are reduced by 69% when wearing a helmet.
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office revealed that there were staggering discrepancies in lethality between states that did and did not enforce helmet laws. States that did not require all motorcyclists to wear helmets observed an astounding 59% of bikers die in collisions. This was in stark contrast to those states that did enforce all-rider helmet laws, seeing only an 8% fatality rate.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
Your helmet is not the only thing keeping you safe when you’re zipping past cars on the highway, however. You must also exercise safe, defensive driving when on your bike as another line of defense against collisions and resulting injuries or death. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you’re getting ready to take your motorcycle out for a spin:
- All gear, all the time (AGATT). Your gear should include, of course, a helmet, but also the following items:
- Motorcycle jacket
- Riding suit
- Eye and ear protection
- Riding posture. Getting private lessons or attending courses at a track school will significantly improve your ability to maintain control over your posture while leaning, braking, turning, and shifting.
- Awareness of other drivers. You must continually scan the horizon and the road to maintain awareness of vehicles around you. Don’t just use your eyes to scan, get comfortable with slight turns of your head.
Whenever you’re preparing to take your motorcycle on the road, keep the above facts in mind concerning the wearing of your helmet, and implement the tips above into your riding practices. This way, you can avoid severe injuries to the head, and maintain the maximum safety when operating your vehicle.