Greater awareness of certain risks and technological advances helps keep people safe. When it comes to motor vehicle transportation, vehicles have become safer and more reliable than they were just a few decades ago. They have systems that help detect risk factors for collisions and multiple airbag systems to cushion people and reduce the risk of brain injuries. Yet, despite the theoretical advances in safety, traffic statistics actually show that it has become more dangerous for certain people who travel on U.S. roadways.
For example, motorcycles are among the most dangerous forms of transportation based on current safety trends. In fact, researchers have found that motorcycle rider and biker fatalities have doubled in the last 25 years.
Why are motorcycle riders more at risk?
There are numerous factors in play that have led to the drastic increase in the total number of motorcycle deaths. One is an overall increase in the number of people riding motorcycles. Another is the increasing size of passenger vehicles.
Enclosed vehicles have become taller and overall larger, which has increased issues with inattentional blindness. Those in SUVs and big trucks don’t always monitor their surroundings for safety very carefully because they feel overly confident in their large vehicles. These motorists may completely fail to notice someone on a motorcycle, which could cause devastating crashes. Researchers also reference a growing resistance to helmets. Many of those involved in a fatal crash do not have a helmet on, which is a choice made by an increasing number of riders in recent years.
Increased risk means riders need more protection
There are several ways in which motorcyclists can respond to the shocking increase in traffic fatalities in the last 25 years. Embracing helmet use can potentially save a life, but personal aesthetics seems to prevent widespread helmet use. Many motorcycle riders choose to carry more insurance than the state requires. Others annually refresh their defensive driving skills and make wearing the best visibility and safety gear a priority.
Motorcyclists who focus on safety will have a better chance of minimizing their risk of suffering harm while riding. Understanding that the risk of a motorcycle crash is higher than ever can help some riders better prioritize their own safety while they enjoy taking to the open road.