Motorcycle accidents happen daily on the nation’s roadways. Because these are drivers and riders that are not protected by the steel of an automobile and because some choose not to wear a helmet, these accidents have a higher severe injury rate and a higher fatality rate than when people drive cars. About 1/5 of all motorcycle accidents result in no real injuries. The rest involve some type of injury. The most common cause of motorcycle accidents involves motorists not seeing the motorcycle. The risk of dying from a motorcycle accident is 27 times greater than being a passenger in a car accident and motorcyclists are five times more likely to get injured when an accident does occur when compared to passengers of cars.
There are actually several causes of motorcycle accidents. The most common is when motorists go into the lane of traffic belonging to a motorcyclist. The other cause is having the driver of the motorcycle be drunk and losing control of the motorcycle. Inexperienced motorcyclists can be unfamiliar with the limitations of their machine and can lose control. Speed is a common denominator in motorcycle accidents. Obstacles in the road can lead to an accident with a motorcycle. Motorcyclists can overshoot a curve while going too fast or can under-corner a turn. Injuries can result from fire after fuel has leaked onto the roadway. Fuel leakage happens in around 60 percent of all motorcycle accidents.
One study was done on more than 4700 Taiwanese students to see what kinds of risk factors played into a serious motorcycle accident. Of the total number of motorcycle crashes was 1889 with 1284 people involved. This occurred over a 24 month period of time.
Surprisingly, in 1339 cases, no one was injured to any extent. In 474 cases, there were mild injuries. In 76 cases, the injuries were severe. In more cases, the accident occurred on a rural road as opposed to an urban road with an odds ratio of 1.64. There were both noncollisions and collisions, usually involving a moving car. Some cases involved a motorcycle hitting a parked car or other stationary object. Hitting a car or object increased the risk of a serious injury. Certain types of motorcycles were found to be more dangerous and resulted in more serious injury. For example, the Sanyang motorcycle and the Yamaha motorcycle resulted in more injured riders with odds ratios of 1.63 and 1.39, respectively.
Darkness resulted in more serious injuries in motorcyclists and those who drove at high speeds were more likely to get injured. Serious injuries were more common in cyclists who didn’t have a motorcycle helmet on.
Motorcycling can be a relatively safe way to travel but things like being inexperienced, being drunk, hitting a larger object and driving without a motorcycle helmet can increase the risk both of getting into a motorcycle accident and getting injured while being in a motorcycle accident. Some of these injuries and accidents can be prevented by undergoing motorcycle training in order to learn the safest techniques for riding this type of vehicle.