Florida is dubbed the sunshine state for good reason. With its sunny climate, motorcyclists can cruise throughout the state all year-round. Besides the occasional hurricane, there are not many weather-related factors riders have to worry about when driving a motorcycle. Yet, there are many other dangers that motorcyclists need to be aware of. Minimizing the number of risks while driving a motorcycle can save a rider from permanent injuries or a fatal accident.
Factors That Make Motorcycles Dangerous
Compared to their four-wheeled counterparts, motorcycles pose more of a danger for their driver. Some studies show that a motorcyclist is up to 26 times more likely to be injured or killed than those who drive a car. Here are a few factors that make motorcycles inherently more dangerous than a car:
- Two wheels. With only two wheels, motorcycles offer less stability than a conventional car. Maneuvers such as swerving are harder to achieve, and keeping the motorcycle upright can be difficult.
- Harder to see. A motorcycle is typically more inconspicuous than other vehicles on the road. A motorcycle may be in another vehicle’s blind spot. When other drivers on the road are checking for motorcyclists, there is the possibility that they misestimate the motorcyclists’ traveling distance and speed, which could also lead to an accident. Further, while switching into a motorcyclist’s lane, other vehicles may fail to signal or signal on short notice, creating another potential accident. Further, other drivers may forget to look for motorcyclists altogether when turning or switching lanes.
- Exposed to the elements. With no exterior doors or walls, gusts of wind, rain, or hail can cause riders to lose control over their motorcycles.
- No seatbelts and airbags. Motorcycles do not have many of the safety measures that the majority of other vehicles provide, such as seatbelts and airbags. Without these instruments in place, an accident can lead to more severe and possibly fatal injuries.
Potential Motorcycle Accident Injuries
Motorcycle accidents typically lead to some sort of injury. In the United States, 80 percent of motorcycle accidents either lead to injury or death. These injuries can range from minor to deadly. Some of these injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back injuries
How to Minimize Danger While Driving a Motorcycle
- Inspect your motorcycle before and after every drive. Inspecting a motorcycle’s breaks and checking the tire pressure could potentially prevent an accident from occurring.
- Wear the appropriate gear. Wearing a proper helmet while driving a motorcycle is an important safety measure. The federal government estimated that wearing a helmet reduces the driver’s risk of dying in an accident by approximately 37 percent. Proper eye and face protection are also essential as rain, wind, and dust can get thrown up from vehicles around the motorcycle.
- Do not drive under the influence. It may go without saying, but driving under the influence increases the driver’s likelihood of being in a fatal crash. Around 40 to 45 percent of all riders who have suffered fatal injuries in a motorcycle crash had driven after consuming alcohol, studies show. While it may not “feel” like it, a few drinks can be enough to impair a motorcyclist’s driving skills.
Motorcycle accidents are dangerous and can be life-altering. If you have suffered injuries from or lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, reach out to 1-800-Injured to be connected to an attorney in our referral network for professional legal guidance.
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