According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Association (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 32 times more likely to die in an accident than motor vehicle passengers are. Motorcycle riders do not have the benefit of safety restraints, and they are often at the mercy of distracted car drivers and speeding 18-wheelers. It becomes even riskier when riders choose to ride without a helmet.
In 2008, approximately 5,290 bikers suffered a fatal injury in motorcycle accidents; 59 percent of those killed were not wearing helmets. In addition to the 2008 fatalities, 96,000 bikers suffered injuries. Speed, inexperienced riders and alcohol all contribute to motorcycle injuries and fatalities.
A motorcycle rider is more susceptible to injury in a crash because there are no supplemental safety features such as seatbelts and airbags as there are in cars. Ejection from the seat is a common route to serious injury. A rider stands little chance when his or her body collides with the pavement or a fixed road barrier. Common motorcycle accident injuries include:
- Concussion and brain damage
- Soft tissue damage as the body slides across the road
- Joint breakage of the elbow, shoulders, hips, knees, spine and neck
- Facial disfigurement in the absence of a full-face helmet
As an automobile driver, take the time to watch out for motorcycles. They can often be difficult to see at dusk and they can be difficult to hear.
Have you suffered injuries as a motorcycle rider?