As fun and cool as they are, the evergreen two-wheelers must be operated with extreme care. The motorcycle accident facts might surprise you.
Every year, more than 2 million people suffer minor or major injuries from traffic accidents in the United States alone, accidents that are sometimes fetal, resulting in thousands of lost lives.
Accidents involving motorcycles are actually significantly higher than those involving only cars. According to the U.S. National highway traffic safety Association (NHTSA), 72.34 per 100,000 registered motorcycles were involved in a fatal crash in 2016, compared to just 13.10 out of 100,000 cars. And the death rate of people riding motorcycles is more than 27 times that of people riding in other vehicles.
What Causes Accidents?
So, why exactly do accidents happen? Of the many factors, poor riding habits and the disregard for traffic rules are usually the most prominent. Here’e a more comprehensive rundown of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents:
- Poorly-trained and / or overconfident riders
- Riding on rough improperly carpeted muddy roads that require potentially cheap ATV tires
- Operating a bike that’s damaged or not working as intended
- Not wearing a helmet or other protective gear
- Performing dangerous motorcycle tricks such as one-wheeling
- Not following traffic rules and laws
Head industries are the most common injuries suffered by motorcycle riders, and this can be greatly mitigated by simply wearing a helmet. In fact, a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that helmets are about 37 percent effective at preventing motorcycle deaths and a whopping 67 percent effective at preventing brain injuries.
You can find many motorcycle helmets on sale all over the web, so there should be an excuse for not wearing one while riding.
Here are even more shocking yet sobering motorcycle accident facts:
- Motorcycle rider deaths are nearly 30 times higher than drivers of other vehicles.
- Motorcycle riders aged below 40 are 36 times more likely to be killed than other vehicle operators of the same age range.
- Motorcycle riders aged 40 years and over are around 20 times more likely to be killed than other drivers of that same age rang.
- According to 2005 data from the NHTSA, 4,008 motorcycle riders were killed on United States roads in 2004, an 8% increase from 2003.
- In 1999 there were over four million motorcycles registered in the United States, comprising 2% of all registered vehicles in the US. In that year, 5% of all highway fatalities were motorcycle riders or passengers.
- Approximately 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death; a comparable figure for automobiles is about 20 percent.
Considering all these facts and figures, one must wonder why motorcycles so notoriously dangerous. A main reason, of course, is that, unlike a car, they provides virtually no protection for rider in a crash, resulting in more serious injuries and a higher incidence of death.
Preventing Motorcycle Accidents?
The sad truth is that all of these injuries and deaths are preventable. Just a bit more care and proper understanding of the rules and their implications could work miracles on our roads.
If you’re a motorcycle rider, wear a helmet, make sure your bike is properly tuned and in good working condition, strictly follow traffic rules and laws, and — for the love of everyone! — refrain from pulling off dangerous tricks like one-wheeling. This will keep the police off your back and spare you from becoming a motorcycle accident statistic.
OEM Buying Guide For Your Kawasaki Sport Bike
Treat your trusted motorcycle with love, and it will treat you in kind. Not doing so could cost you a lot of money and undermine your safety.
Sport bikes like your Kawasaki Ninja require some love and attention to stay in tip top shape. From body work to brake lines, wear and tear is inevitable, so before your next ride, take a good look over your bike for the components most susceptible to wear. Always consult the manufacturer’s guide to identify the exact parts you may need to replace.
You might also be interested in these articles:
- 5 Facts About Motorcycle Accidents That Will Shock You
Here are a few important things to look out for when giving your Kawasaki Sport Bike or any other motor bike an inspection…
Accidents happen. Whether you drop your bike or a negligent driver reverses into it in a parking lot, chances are you’ll need a body kit replacement. To keep your bike looking new, put in the work to find a reputable distributor for common parts like Kawasaki OEM fairings, windshields, seat covers and decals.
Whether or not you ride often, always replace your bike’s tires every couple of years. Tires can degrade even when not in use, and this can result in a blowout.
Different tread patterns and width affect the handling and stability of any bike. While there are many options to choose from, find tires that are a good fit for how you ride. Brands such as Pirelli and Michelin offer many great aftermarket tires.
Engine and Exhaust System
The engine and exhaust system of your Kawasaki sport bike consists of dozens of components functioning in unison. When one part fails, problems arise throughout.
To ensure your engine runs smoothly, keep an eye on the following components:
- Cylinder heads
- Valve covers
- Crankcase sprockets
- Oil pan
No bike should be without a reliable set of brakes. Every season, be sure to inspect your pads, rotors, cables and fluid levels to ensure your trusted two-wheeler stops when you want it to.
Major braking components include the master cylinder, which controls the pressure of the entire system. If this fails, you lose compression.
Don’t wait for something bad to happen to your bike before replacing essential components. You have at your disposal many quality aftermarket and OEM bike parts to keeping everything in running order.
5 Facts About Motorcycle Accidents That Will Shock You
Riding a motorcycle poses a whole new level of safety risk than driving a car.
While car accidents can lead to serious injury and death, the probability of motorcycle accidents resulting in those instances is markedly higher because of the smaller size of the two-wheelers and their lack of protection. As such, it behooves motorcyclists to sober up on the statistics about when and how to ride so as to be safer on the road.
Below are some of the shocking facts about motorcycle accidents that you should know before jumping on any motorbike.
1. Most Motorcycle Accidents Happen In The City
A common driving myth is that riding a motorcycle is more dangerous on the highway. While highways do allow higher speeds, its the city that is typically more dangerous for motorcyclists.
In general, those driving on the highway are driving about the same speed and are going in the same direction. In the city, there are many different intersections and vehicles traveling at different speeds, and there is are more opportunities for more people to break the law, such as running a red light.
2. The Evening Is The Most Dangerous Time To Ride
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the most dangerous time for motorcyclists to ride is during rush hour on weekdays and evening hours on the weekend.
A 2015 study carried out in the United States found that 606 motorcyclists were killed and 14,000 were injured during weekdays from 3 pm to 6 pm, while 595 motorcyclists were killed and 11,000 were injured on the weekends from 6 pm to 9 pm.
3. Alcohol Is Was Involved In 30% of Motorcycle Deaths
Data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveal that a total of 5,286 people were killed while riding a motorcycle in 2016. Of those fatalities, alcohol was a contributing factor in 1,000 incidences — be it that the motorcyclist was impaired or was hit by another impaired motorist — representing 30% of all motorcyclists killed that year.
In fact, according to a study funded by the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, a motorcyclist was 2.7 times more likely to be involved in an accident when under the influence of alcohol than a car driver.
4. Normal Hazards Like Animals Can Be Deadly
A primary concern for any motorist is the actions of other individuals on the road. However, an issue that’s more acute for motorcyclists than car drivers is the possibility of hitting an animal. That’s because, irrespective of whether the motorcyclists hits or misses the animal, there is a higher chance for an accident to occur.
Unlike their four-wheeled counterparts, motorcycle don’t have an IIHS safety-rated cabin with airbags and crumple zones. This lack of protection for the rider means even hitting an animal as small as a bird or squirrel can prove deadly.
5. Motorcycles Are Harder To See, Causing Most Accidents
Motorcycles are smaller and harder to see than larger vehicles. As such, most accidents involving riders stem from other vehicle operators failing to see the motorcycle during a turn or lane change.
In fact, nearly three quarters of motorcycle accidents involve a vehicle in front of the motorcycle.
When it comes down to it, riding a motorcycle can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to be a safe and informed rider. Be extra careful when riding in the city and always remember the facts that t’s harder for other vehicle operators to see a motorcycle, hitting the streets at night is riskier than during the day, riding under the influence of alcohol or any other substance is more dangerous for motorcyclists than car drivers, and normal hazards like a small animal running onto the road is more likely to cause a serious accident.
Sikh Motorcyclists Can Soon Ride Without Helmets In Ontario
Canada’s largest province, Ontario, will become the fourth province in the country to allow Sikh motorcyclists to ride without helmets.
Male Sikhs wear turbans for religious purposes. In an August roundtable interview with the Sikh community in Brampton, ON, premier Doug Ford said “It’s going to be one of my agendas, I’ll move forward with it, I’m keeping my promise” when asked about exempting male Sikhs.”
“Promises made, promises kept,” he added.
Alberta became the third province to exempt Sikh riders from helmets in March 2018, following in the footsteps of British Columbia and Manitoba. Bills regarding the matter were introduced in Ontario as far back as 2013 but were shot down and failed to pass.
The helmet law as it pertains to Sikhs was first challenged in Ontario in 2008, when the Ontario Human Rights Commission took up the cause of Baljinder Badesha, who was fighting a $110 ticket for refusing to wear his motorcycle helmet.
Ontario Court Justice James Blacklock ended up ruling against Badesha and the OHRC. In his 35-page decision, he stated that an exemption would render the province’s helmet law unwieldy since anyone violating it could simply claim they were devout, a sound argument, if you ask me, even when not considering for the safety implications.
Let us know, is it fair for only Sikh motorcyclists to be exempt from the helmet law, and is there a solid argument for the exemption? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Credit: Surjit Singh Flora