Before you know it, summer will be here. This often means that more motorcyclists will take to the road. If you are one of the many itching to get out on the road, this may be a good time to remember that in addition to all of the joys and freedoms that come with riding, you face significant dangers as well.
While part of the allure of riding a motorcycle comes from having nothing between you and the road, that also leaves nothing between you and the road in the event of an accident. The fact of the matter is that many of the unique characteristics of motorcycles that riders love also put them in more danger.
The challenges of riding
It takes skill to ride, which is your biggest source of protection from the challenges you face while riding. Your experience and skill could help you avoid injury from the following:
- If the front and rear tires of your motorcycle are misaligned due to a manufacturing defect, you could experience "speed wobble" at higher speeds. This instability could cause an accident.
- It would be nice if the roads were always pristine, but the fact is they aren't. Debris, potholes, uneven pavement and ruts, among other things, may seem small to passenger vehicles, but they could cause you and your motorcycle to hit the road.
Your biggest threat may come from other vehicles. Your small profile makes you vulnerable to not being seen by another driver at a critical moment. In fact, while many people mistakenly believe that motorcycle riders are the ones who cause accidents, the opposite is true. Research indicates that as many as two-thirds of accidents involving passenger or commercial vehicles and motorcycles occur because the other vehicle violated the rider's right-of-way.
The risks of riding
Your safety as a rider may depend on your abilities, but the inability of others to watch out for you or to make sure they see you may put you at risk. Because you lack the same protections from an impact as those in other vehicles, your risk of suffering injuries in a crash is five times higher, and your risk of death is 26 times higher.
If you are involved in an accident and manage to survive, you more than likely suffered serious injuries. Even if you make a full recovery, it could be some time before your life returns to normal. If your injuries cause you permanent or debilitating damage, your life may never return to what it was prior to the accident.
Fortunately, the law allows you to do something about it. You may be able to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost income and other damages incurred as a result of another driver's negligence.