Motorcycle drivers and their passengers put themselves at considerable risk when they share the road with automobiles and larger vehicles. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that in 2019, motorcycle riders and passenger deaths exceeded the number of people who died in car accidents by nearly 29 times.
Motorcycle operators share a number of risks, and recognizing them may help future riders remain safe.
Male motorcycle operators account for the majority of deaths in traffic accidents. This is likely because males, on average, ride motorcycles on a daily basis when compared to women and use them as a means to commute as well as for recreational riding. The frequency of use among men makes them much more susceptible to injuries and loss of life while on the road.
Motorcycle riders between the ages of 30-60 risk losing their lives when they venture out onto the roadways. The reason for this may stem from an decrease in reflexes and eyesight problems as riders age. Riders over the age of 60 carry the most risk, as senior motorcycle enthusiasts may have the least opportunities for avoiding accidents due to reduced balance and reduced reaction time.
Motorcycle drivers and passengers who do not use helmets risk greater injury and death than their counterparts who wear them. Because the chances of surviving an accident increases with helmet usage, wearing such protective gear is mandatory in more than 15 states.
The number of motorcyclist deaths continues to increase. However, further education, safety courses and the use of protective gear may reduce the risk for future riders.