Are Motorcycles Dangerous? Accident Rates, Fatalities & FAQs
Simply put, motorcycles are much more dangerous than your average car. Riders of motorcycles are much more likely to die in an accident. In fact, they are over 28 times more likely to be in a fatal accident when compared to car drivers.
Over the years, the fatality rate of motorcyclists has lowered substantially. Many states have enacted laws that make motorcycles safer, and motorcycle manufacturers have introduced a variety of safety features. However, they are still much more dangerous than your average car.
By getting onto a motorcycle, you’re taking a measured risk. And, it isn’t a small risk either. In the chance that you get in an accident (even if it wasn’t your fault), you are 28 times more likely to die.
What Are the Odds of Dying on a Motorcycle?
We know that an accident on a motorcycle has a 28 times higher chance of being deadly than one in a car. Therefore, motorcycles are much more dangerous than cars. Out of every 100,000 crashes involving a motorcycle, 72 of them end in a fatality.
However, the statistics on who drives motorcycles and how often they are driven are not very set-in-stone, so it is challenging to determine the odds of getting into a fatal crash with every ride.
With that said, it is pretty obvious that crashing on a motorcycle is more likely to lead to a fatality than if you were driving a car.
Why Are Motorcycles So Dangerous?
There is simply not enough protection around a motorcycle. You’re likely to get expelled from the bike and flung while riding it. Alternatively, the car can simply crush you and the bike, as most cars are much bigger than a motorcycle.
Furthermore, many car drivers do not properly look for motorcycles. Many are not expecting to see motorcycles on the road, so they may miss them when turning or even just accelerating. Cars don’t have to completely hit the bike, either. A clip is all it takes to throw a rider off the bike and into oncoming traffic.
Intersections are often the most dangerous spot for motorcycles, as many drivers carelessly turn left without checking for motorcycles. Therefore, you need to be extra cautious whenever you are approaching an intersection. Heavy braking is also dangerous, especially if you don’t have anti-lock brakes. If your front brakes lock up while you’re driving, you risk throwing yourself from the bike.
This safety feature can go a long way to preventing accidents, so we recommend investing in a bike with ABS when possible.
Gravel, grass, and other debris on the road can also be dangerous. Bikes have a very hard time getting traction in these situations and can simply slip off the road. Therefore, you should be especially cautious regarding any debris on the road.
In cities, you also have to stay on the lookout for opening car doors, which can easily take the bike off from under you. In some cases, this can even be deadly if you are going fast enough (though if you’re in an area with parked cars, you probably should not be driving at highway speeds).
Do People Survive Motorcycle Crashes?
Yes. The survival rate in a collision is about 90% for motorcycles. Furthermore, crashes that did not involve a collision with another car typically have a survival rate of 96%. The crashes can involve the driver hitting debris on the road or experiencing a locked-up wheel.
Therefore, the survival rate on a bike is technically pretty good, but that doesn’t mean that they are particularly safe. Cars are much safer and have a much higher survivability rate.
If you get in a motorcycle accident, your odds of surviving it are pretty good but they would be much better if you were in a car and not on a motorcycle.
Furthermore, motorcycles can get in crashes more frequently, which increases the odds of a fatal crash happening to you. For instance, motorcycles do not fair well with grass and gravel on the road. However, cars usually don’t crash because they drive over a bit of gravel.
- Related Read: Motorcycle Helmet Laws By State & What You Need To Know!
Do Motorcycles Stop Faster Than Cars?
Because motorcycles are lighter, they can typically stop faster than a car. Furthermore, your average motorcycle has higher quality brakes, suspension, and tires. Therefore, they are simply designed to stop faster than your average car.
With that said, motorcycles have much of their braking power on their front wheel. Therefore, they mostly only brake with their front wheel. For this reason, their front wheel often locks up if they break too hard. In the end, this can lead to the driver going over their front wheel and into oncoming traffic.
Motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars. There is simply less to protect the driver in the case of an accident. Therefore, motorcyclists have a much higher fatality rate than those that drive cars. For this reason, motorcycles are rightly considered more dangerous than your average car.
With that said, the proper safety gear and equipment do a lot to reduce your risk. We highly recommend that you invest in a bike with great safety features and always wear your safety gear. Otherwise, you may increase your chance of being in a fatal accident.
Featured Image Credit: basnetprabin777, Pixabay