How Safe Is a Motorcycle?

November 28, 2016 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
How Safe Is a Motorcycle? There are over 558,000 registered motorcycles in Florida.1  People choose a motorcycle over other forms of vehicles because of the low initial cost of a motorcycle, its popular use as a recreational vehicle, and in some cases, for its fuel efficiency. Even though having a motorcycle seems to have its advantages, it is important to understand that motorcycle fatalities happen very frequently and a motorcycle provides little protection in a crash.  An automobile, on the other hand, has more weight than a motorcycle, it has door beams, a roof, and airbags to provide additional protection to the driver and its passengers.  The automobile has also other different assistive devices to keep its passengers safe – such as windshield wipers to assist with visibility in the rain and snow.  In addition, an automobile has four wheels, instead of two, and it is large and can be easier to see.  A motorcycle, on the other hand, lacks all of these characteristics.  The motorcycle is smaller, less bulkier, and does not weigh as much as a regular vehicle. How to Compensate for Motorcycle's Lower Safety According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,2 it is recommended that the motorcyclist should attend a motorcycle rider-training course to learn how to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle so they are more careful and aware at intersections where most motorcycle accidents occur.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also warns that motorcyclists should attend a motorcycle rider training programs to learn how to skillfully and safely operate motorcycles and it warns that motorcycle drivers must place a much greater emphasis on defensive driving.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also highlights that on average, 25 percent of motorcycle drivers killed in traffic crashes are not licensed or are improperly licensed to operate a motorcycle.  The administration points out that by not obtaining a proper motorcycle operator license, riders bypass the only method they and state licensing agencies have to ensure that riders have the knowledge and skill needed to safely and skillfully operate a motorcycle.  This should be the first line of defense for motorcycle riders to ensure their own and their passenger's safety. Buying the Right Motorcycle The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also sets forth some criteria that should be considered when purchasing a motorcycle.  For example, the agency recommends that the motorcycle should have certain functional requirements. Motorcycles come with varying degrees of power but people should only buy motorcycles with as much power as they can handle.  Large motorcycles tend to be heavy and the rider must be strong enough to push it or pick it up if it falls. Smaller bikes, on the other hand, may not have the speed, performance, and the necessary ride if the bike will frequently travel longer distances.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also reminds purchasers to consider the bike's primary uses in order to purchase the most appropriate bike.  For example, some bikes are trail bikes and others are highway bikes.  Those motorcycles will have individual characteristics that should be used accordingly. Before Preparing to Ride the Motorcycle The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has other suggestions for a safe operation of a motorcycle.  It first warns drivers that the safe operation of a motorcycle “requires different skill and knowledge than is required for a passenger car.”  The agency also warns that to ensure the safest rides, riders should first and foremost ride with DOT certified helmets and eye protection.  Next, the bike's owner's manual should be read thoroughly.  A motorcycle rider training course should be attended in order to learn how to operate a motorcycle safely and skillfully.  According to the National Highway Safety Administration, these classes “provide unique knowledge and skills that may not be learned if a friend or a relative teaches how to ride the bike.” Protective Gear The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also describes the other types of protective gear, besides the helmet, that should be utilized while riding a motorcycle.  In addition to the helmet, eye gear constitutes the second most important protection.  The reason being that many motorcycles do not have windshields – the riders must take precautions that their eyes are protected from insects, dirt, rocks and other airborne matter.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggests that good quality goggles should be chosen, glasses with plastic or safety lenses, or a helmet equipped with a face shield. Additionally, the right shoes, gloves, and clothing should be worn to “not only provide comfort against the elements” but also to provide padding between the body and the pavement should a crash occur. Call a New Port Richey Motorcycle Crash Attorney Today If you are a passenger who has been involved in a New Port Richey motorcycle accident and you are not clear as to what your rights are and how to recover for the injuries you sustained in the accident, please call one of our experienced attorneys today.  During our free consultation, we will examine the circumstances of the accident, any other intervening circumstances that led to the accident and what your next steps should be.  Please call our New Port Richey office of Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA at (727) 477-9660 for a free consultation today. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 5435 Main Street New Port Richey, FL 34652 (727) 477-9660 References: 1 2


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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