Motorcyclists Are Almost 40 Times More Likely Than Car Accident Victim…
Between 1994 and 2010, motorcycle accidents have accounted for approximately sixty thousand deaths in The United States. Over the last nine years the number of motorcycle related deaths has doubled. It seems that about half of these deaths resulted from the driver having trouble negotiating a curve, and 60% of fatal motorcycle crashes occurred at night.
Statistics show that from 1980 until 1998, the average age of motorcycle riders has increased, and that the number of over 40 riders increased from 15% in 1980 to about 44% in 1998. The statistics also show the size of the motorcycles has increased in addition, from 1990 til 2001 the average engine size has increase approximately 25%. These factors combined show that older riders on bigger bikes, at night, on curves, are dying more.
Other statistics from 2004 show that 41% of motorcycle fatalities had a blood alcohol level above the legal limit. That would explain the trouble negotiating the curves at night. Per mile traveled, a motorcyclist is a startling 37 times more likely to die in an accident and 9 times more likely to be injured in an accident than someone in a car.
Head injury is the most shared cause of death in motorcycle accidents, and in approximately half of all fatalities from motorcycle accidents the riders were not wearing a helmet. For all the numbers citing death and injury, I failed to find numbers citing how many riders are paralyzed in accidents. We know it happens. Are the numbers startling high, or insignificantly low? I don’t know, but one thing is for certain, it happens.
Protection from accidents while riding a motorcycle shouldn’t stop with a helmet. There are special riding clothes designed to protect a rider from injury in case of a fall. Riding suits with special padding at meaningful points of the body such as the spine, elbows and shoulders, knees and hips, made of skid resistant materials such as leather, ballistic nylon, cordura, and Kevlar.
Protecting the Goods
Airbag technology is already obtainable now, fitted to jackets and vests for impact protection for both riders. Special riding gloves protect the hands and goggles or complete confront helmets with visors to protect the confront and eyes, and special riding boots designed to be light, however provide maximum protection. All of this protective gear is at the disposal of the rider, however many choose not to utilize this option.
And another underutilized option for safe riding is driver education, or rather, rider education. Proper training and wearing helmets in addition as other safety gear would no doubt reduce the risk of harsh injury and death. But the choice being left to the discretion of the rider is what freedom is about, just like riding motorcycles. After all, haven’t you ever seen the biker with the t-shirt stating “ride free or die”? Yeah, that never really made much sense to me either.