No one can predict when, how, or why an accident will occur. However, based on years of crash data, we can predict that when a collision involves a motorcycle, the rider will most likely suffer far greater injuries than those involved in a car accident. In fact, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely than car passengers to suffer fatal collision injuries, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Decreasing Injury Risk
Considering the inherent risks of driving a motorcycle, all riders should be aware of safety gear and emergency maneuvers that can decrease the severity of rider injuries.
Although the following tips cannot guarantee that you’ll walk away from a collision unscathed, they can help you maintain control and reduce your risk for experiencing severe injuries, including road rash, brain damage, and spinal trauma:
- Wear appropriate safety gear. Many motorcyclists feel that helmets and riding outfits impede their riding satisfaction. However, the protective properties that this gear provides can make the difference between life and death. Proper safety gear should include a safety-approved motorcycle helmet, durable pants, jacket, and gloves (all areas of your skin should be covered to prevent serious road rash injuries), boots, and eye protection.
- Pay attention. When you make the choice to ride a motorcycle, you make the decision to commit to safety. Since motorcyclists are at a high risk for injury, it’s up to you to identify and avoid potential accident threats. Because you have absolutely no protection around you, your concentration must be at least ten times more focused than that of those around you.
- Take preemptive action. When you identify a threat and an accident seems inevitable, don’t hesitate to take action. Apply your brakes and search for a place to crash. This may seem counter-productive as you want to avoid a crash, but it’s always best to plan for the worst and consider your best options to avoid serious injury. Rather than hoping that crashing into the car ahead of you won’t be fatal, look around for a more gentle area in which to land. If you have no other option than to hit the car ahead of you, try to aim for the side of the car that will shield you from being thrown into oncoming traffic.
- Stay with your bike. Although it may seem like an ideal strategy, do not attempt to jump off your bike and throw yourself to the ground. In addition to suffering severe road rash, you risk getting trapped under the bike, getting run over by oncoming traffic, and sliding into stationary objects, or worse, innocent bystanders. Instead of bailing at the first sign of trouble, wait until you’ve slowed down to at most 30 mph before you attempt a slide.
- Relax into the slide. Once you’re in a slide, momentum will carry you until the force subsides—scraping forces should be lessened by the use of your protective gear. No amount of kicking, rolling, or thrashing will help; in fact, it’ll only make things worse. When you hit the pavement, try to loosen your muscles until you’ve come to a complete stop. Keeping your muscles relaxed will help ease the impact forces on your bones. When you’ve stopped, don’t rush trying to get up. Though you may not be able to feel it, you could have suffered severe injuries that require that you stay perfectly still.
Andrew Kim Cares About Your Safety
We offer articles like this because we care about the safety of motorcyclists. Feel free to browse our website for more motorcycle safety tips.
Category: Motorcyle Accidents
To reply to this message, enter your reply in the box labeled "Message", hit "Post Message."