The wind in your hair and a feeling of freedom. That’s what a motorcycle gives you. While they do look very cool, it’s important for riders to understand the dangers of the vehicle and how to stay safe while riding one.

Are motorcycles dangerous?

While much of the safety of a vehicle depends on the driver, it is important to note that motorcycles have less crash protection than traditional enclosed vehicles. Their smaller size makes them less visible to others on the road, two wheels provide less stability than four and they offer little protection between the road and the rider.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle rider fatalities have decreased in recent years. However, motorcycle riders are still 27 times more likely to die in an accident than those who have accidents while in passenger vehicles. In 2017, 5,172 motorcyclists died in crashes.

How can motorcyclists stay safe?

While riding a motorcycle is inherently less safe than a car, there are ways that motorcyclists can stay safe on the road.

The NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 1,872 motorcycle rider lives were saved because of helmets. While a helmet cannot protect everyone in an accident, it lowers a rider’s chance of fatality. In addition to always wearing helmets, riders should also:

  • Participate in proper training and licensing courses
  • Practice riding somewhere safe
  • Wear eye protection and cover your arms and legs
  • Obey traffic laws
  • Don’t ride under the influence
  • Remember that drivers may not see you
  • Always check your motorcycle’s functions

If you decide that you want to try out a motorcycle, you should always be aware of the risks involved. Take caution to be a responsible rider and make decisions that will support the safety of yourself and others on the road.