Motorcycle riding is one of the most pleasurable things for humans. But, so is car driving! Now the question is which is more dangerous – driving a motorcycle or a car? This is the question that everyone asks at some point in life. This argument could go against cars since when driving a car; one is strapped into the vehicle, which is designed for maximum protection. However, in the case of driving a motorcycle, one has very little protection with very minimal structural protection from the vehicle. Even then, this protection will be flung loose at high speed. That explains why so many crash statistics are more positive for car driving while motorcycle riding is prone to crashes.
So, in terms of a safety argument, motorcycle riding is more dangerous than car driving. But, we know you didn’t come here to listen to what people think. What you are looking for is information, a lot of information, isn’t that right?
As you know, wearing safety motorcycle helmets and proper safety riding gear is strongly recommended while riding a motorcycle. This improves the chances of survival in the event of an accident when riding a motorcycle.
Even so, compared with car driving, motorcycle riders are exposed to a much higher risk of dying in a crash. According to the U.S. government data of 2013, the number of motorcycle-related deaths was 26 times the number of car-related deaths, for every mile traveled that year. The next year in 2014, these statistics come in at 27 times more deaths on a motorcycle than in a car, according to the June 2016 Crash Stats published by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
However, in a 2015 report, it was noted that for every 100 million miles (160 million kilometers) traveled, cars had a 0.89 passenger’s fatality rate while motorcycles had a 25.38 rider’s fatality rate. Do you know what that means? It means, there were 4,976 car passengers that experienced death and 88,000 motorcyclists experienced fatal injuries from riding motorcycles in 2015.
From the above stats, we can say that cars and motorcycles share similarities:
- Both drive on the same roads.
- Both have powerful accelerations.
But, motorcycles have some key differences that made them inherently more dangerous than cars. So yes, motorcycle riding is more dangerous and riskier than car driving. One key difference between both is the body. A car is more like a steel cage where you are protected from all sides and strapped with a safety seatbelt, whereas on a motorcycle you have only two tires with so-called ‘protection’. To mitigate some of the risks, we, ‘riders’ wear safety helmets, riding jackets, pants, and other safety riding gear.
Of all the motorcycle safety riding gear, the helmet is the most important. It not only protects you from severe head injuries but also protects you from strong wind, and debris and dust particles in the air. In 2015 alone, a helmet saved nearly 1,772 lives. This number could have been higher if other riders had been wearing a motorcycle helmet, according to Crash Stats.
Despite this, some motorcyclists are irresponsible and give little importance to safety, riding rules, and regulations.
A motorcycle rider should be more responsible and attentive to the road because of the huge exposure. For a car driver, a motorcyclist is practically invisible and is more likely to be hit by car or truck drivers.
And if we talk about death rates, then you need to understand that a car driver has an advantage of sitting in a steel cage while a motorcycle rider is fully exposed and any mistake could be catastrophic for the rider. There isn’t much on a motorcycle that can protect a rider in the event of a crash. If you are thrown from the motorcycle, then you will be injured, maybe fatally.
Meanwhile, many automotive manufacturers develop new technologies to make cars much safer; however, motorcycle manufacturers have few options. The only change you can see in a motorcycle is in its features, such as mirrors, engine, design, airbags, and headlights, etc. But, none of these features can help you avoid a crash.
The accident levels are also different among motorcycles. For example, the super sport motorcycles, which are specially designed for consumers, have four times the death rate than cruisers and standard motorcycles. And sports bikes have two times the death rate than cruisers and standard motorcycles.
So, the logical answer is, yes, motorcycle riding is more dangerous than car driving. But, it can be avoided if one takes the necessary precautions and uses complete riding gear while riding a motorcycle. Motorcycle riders don’t have vision restrictions like car drivers who have limited visibility. On top of that, motorcycles are smaller, which makes it easier to avoid traffic problems. There is a science behind riding safely and comfortably.
Make sure you have the correct information and the proper riding gear!
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