There’s nothing quite like the thrill of riding a motorcycle in Pennsylvania and around Philadelphia and South Jersey.
Every year motorcyclists hit the open road looking for adventure. In fact, the number of motorcyclists riding each year is growing. There are currently more than 8.4 million motorcycles registered in the United States. Yet, despite their popularity, motorcycles have a dark side. They are inherently more dangerous than their passenger vehicle counterparts, and are responsible for as many as 5 times as many deaths.
A new study released by researchers at the University of Toronto examined seven years of data from hospitalized motorcyclists and car drivers in Ontario. What they found was that motorcyclists were 3 times more likely to be injured in an accident and 5 times more likely to die in crashes as other motorists. In addition, their medical expenses were six times as great as were drivers of passenger vehicles who were injured. U.S. government data from 2013 showed that, for every mile traveled, the number of motorcycle-related deaths was 26 times the number of car-accident deaths.
Why are Motorcycles More Dangerous?
Motorcycles are more dangerous than other vehicles for a number of reasons. The main reason is that motorcycles do not offer any real protections for their riders. Unlike a car, there is no steel frame or airbags protecting riders during a collision. While motorcyclists can take all the necessary safety precautions they want, such as wearing helmets and donning Kevlar riding apparel, sometimes that isn’t enough to avoid serious and even life-threatening injuries.
Another reason motorcycles are more dangerous than cars is that, to stay safe on the road, riders must maintain good balance and driving abilities, including quick reflexes. Take a turn just a little too fast, and a rider can easily “lay the bike down” on the roadway and sustain a serious case of road rash, or worse. Motorcycle riding requires specialized skills, and motorcyclists must obtain a special motorcycle license in order to qualify to legally operate their vehicles on the roadway.
Another reason that motorcycles are more dangerous is that their low profile makes them more difficult to see on the road. As a result, other drivers may not recognize a cyclist in a travel lane or on the road.
Just How Dangerous are Motorcycles?
When compared to other four-wheel modes of transportation, motorcycles are inherently much more dangerous. But when one compares motorcycle riding to other everyday risks, the results are surprising. While motorcycle riding is dangerous, a motorcyclist is more likely to be killed by alcohol poisoning, smoking, falling down, or by being overweight than by riding a motorcycle. While approximately 5,000 people die each year due to motorcycle accidents, more than 400,000 Americans die each year due to poor diet and physical inactivity. As such, if motorcycling is your passion, feel free to hit the open roads. Just remember to do so safely.
How Can You Stay Safe on a Motorcycle?
Motorcyclists can increase their chances of walking away from a serious or fatal accident by following these safety tips.
- Take a motorcycle riding safety course, even if you are an experienced rider.
- Have your motorcycle serviced regularly.
- Have the tires properly inflated at all times.
- Don’t ride in inclement weather.
- Never ride after consuming alcohol.
- Never ride when fatigued.
- Wear an appropriate DOT-approved motorcycle helmet.
- Wear appropriate motorcycle attire, such as Kevlar jackets, pants, and suits.
- Wear appropriate hard, closed-toed shoes such as motorcycle boots.
- Protect the eyes with goggles.
- Never ride distracted.
- Wear brightly-colored clothing at all times.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a motorcycle accident, the experienced Pennsylvania motorcycle accident lawyers at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help. Our team of lawyers consists of some of the best attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we will fight aggressively for you throughout the legal process.
The motorcycle accident attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., have more than 100 years of experience representing injured motorcycle accident victims and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties. We are also proud to serve injured motorcycle accident victims throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today toll-free at 1-855-633-6251 or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.