The Ins and Outs of Motorcycle Safety

Riding a motorcycle on a daily basis instead of a traditional vehicle essentially means putting your body at risk of a potentially serious injury. This is especially true in Western Washington, where the highways can get very congested and the rain can begin to fall without warning. No one ever expects to be injured in a motorcycle accident, but it’s important to understand a few key pieces of information in the event that you are injured in a collision.

The Pros and Cons of Two Wheels

Choosing to ride a motorcycle over a four-wheeled vehicle can be beneficial in many ways. First of all, they’re smaller and easier to maneuver, which makes for less congested roads and less required parking space. Gas mileage and overall price of the vehicle are also a plus.

But the downsides of regularly riding a motorcycle are equally significant. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 25 times more likely to experience a fatal traffic accident as people in passenger cars.

“Motorcyclists lack the physical protection that passengers inside cars have, which makes their risk of an injury so much greater,” says personal injury attorney Christopher M. Davis of the Davis Law Group in Seattle. “Therefore, safety gear is even more important in preventing serious injuries.”

Davis is not the only one calling for motorcyclists to beef up their arsenals of safety gear. Advocates nationwide have worked continuously in recent months to prove the effectiveness of helmets and other safety equipment.

Helmets Help to Save Face

A recent study authored by doctors and scientists from UCLA, Johns Hopkins University and many others indicates that the old adage of wearing a safety helmet at all times can seriously pay off. In the study, the authors analyzed hospital data for 59,274 motorcycle accident patients. Of those patients, 46,362 of them (78 percent) had records that were complete for analysis.

In analyzing the patient records involving motorcycle accidents from hospitals across the country, the study’s authors found that 1,908 (4.1 percent) of all motorcycle riders involved in a collision died of their injuries. They also found that 35,799 of those involved in a crash wore helmets and 10,563 did not.

Upon more detailed analysis of each patient, the researchers found that helmeted motorcyclists had a 60 percent reduction in odds of suffering from a facial injury in a wreck.

Motorcycles may be more convenient, less expensive and more beneficial for the environment, but the potentially life-changing physical risks should not be overlooked. To get the best of both worlds and avoid a serious injury from a motorcycle accident, exercise caution at all times on the roadway and wear your safety helmet.