Is a Motorcycle Really Worth the Cost?
July 19, 2023 | [email protected]
As tempting as it may be to spend all your savings on a big red Harley and set out on a journey across the American South, motorcycles aren’t always all that they’re cracked up to be. After all, there’s a reason they’re nicknamed “donorcycles.”
Motorcycle riders are overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2021, motorcyclist deaths constituted 14% of total traffic fatalities in the United States. If you’re considering buying one yourself, you may wonder whether the risk is worth it.
What Makes Motorcycles so Dangerous?
Motorcyclists are a minority on the road, yet they make up a disproportionate amount of traffic fatalities.
The danger isn’t due solely to the vehicle’s small size compared to others or its lack of walls or a ceiling. A few factors contribute to the relative lack of safety of motorcycles as opposed to other vehicles.
Lack of Stability
When it comes to balance, four wheels are better than two. Unlike a car, you’re liable to fall off your motorcycle whether you’re moving or stationary.
Lack of Occupant Protection
Not only do motorcycles not have walls and ceilings, but they don’t have a cabin or even a full seat. They also lack airbags or seat belts for added security in the event of a crash. As such, motorcycles are less like cars and more like stools flying down the freeway at 70 mph.
Laws of Motion
Because of the relatively small size of most motorcycles, the laws of motion impact them differently than other vehicles. When a motorcycle crashes or comes to a sudden halt, basic physics dictates that the rider will continue moving forward at the rate they were traveling before the stop.
Since motorcycles are smaller and lower to the ground than most vehicles, they’re more difficult for drivers to see. Motorcyclists are especially at risk of being hit by larger vehicles making left turns.
It’s tricky for car drivers to navigate icy, snowy, muddy, or flooded roads, but these conditions are generally manageable for cars. By contrast, motorcyclists have a much harder time handling unusual road hazards, meaning riders could easily lose control.
Lane splitting is when a motorcyclist drives down the centerline of a road. While lane splitting isn’t illegal in every state, the practice almost always increases the odds of an accident.
What Are the Benefits of Motorcycles?
Now that you’re aware of the many factors that make driving a motorcycle so dangerous, you’re likely wondering why anyone would ever choose to ride one.
Here are a few reasons this method of transportation might appeal to you.
- No more parking struggles: Motorcycles can easily squeeze into tight spaces that other vehicles can’t
- Affordability: While motorcycles can be astronomically expensive, there are plenty of economical options that cost far less than most cars
- A workout with every trip: Riding a motorcycle requires you to use your core to stay balanced and steer properly
- Agility on the streets: Motorcycles can bob and weave more easily between other vehicles, although this practice can also be dangerous
- The “cool” factor: Although not as important as these other reasons, the timeless allure of a motorcycle can’t be denied
Whichever one of these perks strikes your fancy, the right motorcycle can make your life easier and more enjoyable.
The Price of Life in the Fast Lane
When you know the pros and cons of operating a motorcycle, you become better able to make an informed decision as to whether doing so is worth the cost. Consider your needs, preferences, values, and individual lifestyle, and weigh these factors against the inherent risks of motorcycle travel.
Contact Our Motorcycle Accident Law Firm For Help Today
For more information, please contact The King Firm at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.
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