Riding a motorcycle is one of the most exhilarating experiences a person can have. The feeling of the wind rushing past you as you ride down the open road is indescribable. However, with the thrill of riding comes the risk of injury or even death. Motorcycles are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries than other types of vehicles, and it’s important for riders to know the safest places to ride.
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Statistically, the highway is the safest place to ride a motorcycle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, 48% of all fatal motorcycle accidents occurred on major roads. This may seem counterintuitive since highways are known for their high speeds and heavy traffic, but there are a few factors that make them safer for bikers.
Highways have fewer intersections than local roads, and intersections prove to be one of the most dangerous places for motorcycles. According to the NHTSA, 35% of all motorcycle accidents occur at intersections. This is because intersections are places where cars are turning and changing lanes, and often drivers don’t see motorcyclists until it’s too late. On a highway, there are fewer places in which drivers are making turns or changing lanes, reducing the risk of a collision.
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Highways are designed with safety in mind. They have wide lanes, clear markings, and generally have fewer obstacles than local roads. This means that there is more room for motorcyclists to maneuver and avoid obstacles or hazards on the road. Additionally, highways have fewer driveways and entrances, reducing the risk of collisions with cars pulling out onto the road.
Highways have a higher volume of traffic, which means that drivers are more likely to be paying attention and following the rules of the road. In busy urban areas, drivers are more likely to be distracted or in a hurry, increasing the risk of an accident.
Although highways may be statistically safer than local roads, it is important to note that they still pose risks to motorcyclists. High speeds and heavy traffic can still lead to accidents, and it’s important for riders to take proper safety precautions when riding the highway.
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One of the most important things that riders can do to stay safe on the highway is to wear proper protective gear. This includes a helmet, protective clothing, and boots that cover the ankles. In the event of an accident, proper gear can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death.
It’s also important for riders to be aware of their surroundings and to anticipate potential hazards on the road. This means keeping a safe following distance, scanning the road ahead for potential obstacles, and being prepared to react quickly, if necessary.
Motorcyclists should also ride defensively at all times. This means assuming that other drivers may not see you and taking steps to avoid potential collisions. This includes avoiding blind spots, using turn signals and hand signals, and maintaining a safe speed and distance from other vehicles on the road.
In contrast to the relative safety of highways, busy urban areas can be some of the most dangerous places for motorcyclists. According to NHTSA, 60% of all non-fatal motorcycle accidents occurred in urban areas. This is likely due to the higher volume of traffic, more frequent intersections, and more distracted drivers.
Intersections are particularly hazardous for bikers, as they are often congested and chaotic. In addition, many urban areas have narrow streets and a lack of designated lanes for motorcycles, which can make it difficult for riders to navigate safely.
While riding a motorcycle can be a thrilling experience, it is important for riders to know the safest places to ride. Fortunately, motorcyclists generally enjoy riding on the highways. The speed and lack of traffic and congestion makes for an amazing (and relatively safe) ride.
But remember, even on the highway, there are still risks, and taking proper safety precautions is essential. Wearing protective gear, being aware of surroundings, and riding defensively can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death in the event of an accident.
Motorcyclists can also advocate for safer road conditions and policies that prioritize motorcycle safety. This can include lobbying for better infrastructure and stricter penalties for drivers who engage in reckless or distracted driving.
Staying safe while riding a motorcycle is a shared responsibility between riders and other drivers on the road. By staying vigilant, riding defensively, and advocating for safer road conditions, motorcyclists can help reduce the risk of accidents and make riding a safer and more enjoyable experience for all.
Have questions about your motorcycle accident? Call the biker attorneys with over 30 years of experience at 1-800-MOTORCYCLE.