More Motorcycles on the Road, More Deaths: Ways To Ride Safely
With the popularity of motorcycle riding on the upswing in the past few years, more lives are being taken as a result – than ever before. These unfortunate deaths have occurred not only because motorcycle riding is somewhat inherently dangerous, but because riders do not take all proper safety precautions before hopping on their bikes. One of these vital precautions, among many, is possessing anti-lock brakes.
According to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, motorcycles with anti-lock brakes are 7% less likely to be involved in fatal crashes than those without them. From an insurance standpoint, the “anti-lock brake motorcyclists” file 22% fewer damage claims per insured vehicle, than individuals with motorcycles of the same models, without anti-locks. When it comes to medical payment coverage, motorcycles with anti-lock brakes registered 30% lower claim frequencies than their non-anti-lock counterparts.
IIHS suggests simply to “equip more motorcycles with anti-locks,” because stopping a motorcycle is much more difficult than stopping a car. The front and rear wheels usually have separate brake controls, and in an emergency, the rider must face a split-second decision to either brake hard (which can lock the wheels and cause an overturn), or brake lightly and risk a crash. What anti-lock brakes do exactly is reduce brake pressure when they detect an impending lockup, and increase the pressure once traction is restored. In a nutshell, anti-lock brakes significantly lower the rate of motorcycle accidents, which prevents injuries and deaths.
When the Highway Loss Data Institute analyzed their motorcycle-related data, they uncovered some interesting safety trends related to helmet use, as well as younger riders. They found that motorcyclists in states that require all riders to wear helmets are less likely to file insurance claims for medical treatment after crashes, compared to riders in states with no helmet laws, or where the laws apply to certain but not all riders. Simply put, helmets reduce head injuries, the leading cause of death among un-helmeted riders.
With regard to motorcycle riders under the age of 21, HLDI found that the frequency of insurance collision claims is 10% higher in states that require riders this age to take a training course prior to becoming eligible for a motorcycle license, compared to states that don’t require training. Although this difference isn’t statistically important, it seems to contradict the notion that training courses actually reduce crashes. A probable explanation of this is that riders in some states are fully licensed once they finish training. This might shorten the permit period so that riders end up with full licenses earlier, than if training were not required.
Dr. Cole’s attorneys immediately filed an appeal with the Supreme Court of Georgia. Recently, when the case came before them, Georgia’s Supreme Court judges unanimously agreed that any cap on damages awarded by a jury is unconstitutional.
Although Georgia does not require a motorcycle training course in order to receive a license, the bottom line is that initial training can only help you – and even if you’re an experienced rider, taking a refresher course is definitely a responsible practice to get involved in. Another healthy practice for you as well as your bike, is taking it for regular tune-ups. According to a notable online motorcycle accidents statistics source, around 3% of motorcycle accidents are due to vehicle failure.
All in all, motorcyclists and their loved ones need to be aware that motorcycle-related injuries are more and more prevalent these days. There are simple, almost mindless things a rider can do to keep themselves safe while on a motorcycle. If these proper measures aren’t taken, the rider might very well end up mindless, literally.