Over 80% of motorcycle accidents end with severe injury or death to the motorcyclist or his or her passenger. For this reason alone, it is important that motorcyclists review crash prevention measures and other safety practices that can help them be seen on the road and to avoid being in compromising situations on the road. Since so many accidents result in injury or death, it is also important for motorcyclists to wear protective clothing and equipment to best reduce the severity of injuries they may suffer in and accident and to increase their chances of survival.
Motorcyclists Sixteen Times More Likely to Die in an Accident
Over 2,100 motorcyclists are killed in accidents every year. Auto accidents in general are one of the leading causes of death in the United States, but operating a motorcycle increases the likelihood of death drastically. Much of this is due to the fact that cars have an array of effective safety features motorcycles do not, but also due to the fact that many motorcyclists do not wear the protective gear needed to increase their chances of survival.
This equipment includes the following.
- Helmets that meet state and federal safety standards. It is proven that motorcyclists are 67% less likely to suffer a serious brain injury and 29% less likely to die in an accident if they are wearing a helmet.
- Protective gloves. Many injuries to the hands and arms can be made less severe with the use of proper gloves.
- Long pants to protect the lower body.
- A leather jacket to protect the upper body and the arms from serious degloving injuries that can occur when the skin meets the pavement.
- Boots capable of protecting the feet in the event of an accident or when the rider is thrown from the bike.
Rider Education Programs Save Lives
One of the most important components of motorcycle safety is knowing proper riding procedure and how to operate a motorcycle safely in a variety of environments and conditions. This education should be ongoing, with motorcyclists always learning how to reduce their chances of being in an accident and knowing how to increase their chances of survival in the event that the worst occurs.
The State of Illinois requires motorcyclists to pass rider’s courses, but additional training is advised beyond the basic requirements to obtain a license. Motorcycle riding instructors can help students develop their skills so that they are able to take on the unexpected when they are faced with danger. These courses also teach motorcyclists how to respond after an accident in order to receive the most rapid emergency response possible and to survive long enough for emergency responders to provide the medical attention needed.
Motorcyclists are Responsible for Their Safety Too
While it is true that many motorcycle accidents are the result of negligent motorists, there are many ways in which a cyclist can contribute to or be the cause of an accident. Keeping distance between the bike and other vehicles, making sure one is seen and wearing proper protective gear are all ways that motorcyclists can protect themselves, but nothing is more effective than educating motorcyclists on an ongoing basis to make certain they review preventative measures regularly and take accountability for their own safety and that of others around them.