Why Can it be so Dangerous to Ride a Motorcycle?


Motorcyclists are at higher risk on the road, as they are exposed to hazards that car drivers and other motorists do not face. Because of their size and design, motorcycles are less stable and less visible than other vehicles on the road. Although the number of deaths of drivers and passengers of cars and trucks has decreased since the start of the century, the death rate for motorcycle accidents has more than doubled.

  • According to 2016 fatal crash data from the NHTSA, motorcycle fatalities occur approximately 28 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles.
  • Statistics show that helmets are effective in preventing death by almost 40% and reduce the risk of head injuries by 70%.
  • According to the National Institutes of Health at the National Library of Medicine, head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle accidents.

Traveling on a motorcycle carries a much higher risk of death or major injury than driving the same distance in a car. There are certain factors that increase the risk of injury and fatality in a motorcycle accident, such as:

  • Compared to the four wheels of a car, a motorcycle only has two. This means that the contact surface with the ground is much smaller and therefore more space is needed to stop.
  • Visibility – One of the reasons that cars, trucks and other large vehicles often collide with motorcycles is because they fall outside the standard patterns of visual recognition of drivers.
  • Not keeping enough distance around the motorcycle leaves the biker without the ability to respond to an unforeseen event. Many times this circumstance is caused by excessive speed, although it is also common among less experienced motorists to miscalculate the vehicle’s braking distance.

Riding a motorcycle requires a certain skill and concentration. The slightest mistake can trigger a fall and cause an accident. Making driving mistakes when riding a motorcycle is more common than it may seem. Bad lines, braking, distractions or poor positioning in the blind spot of other vehicles can trigger an accident. Other errors include:

  • Braking at the wrong time
  • Bad curve layout
  • Not taking into account the lateral safety distance
  • Driving in the blind spot of other vehicles
  • Lack of maneuver warnings

Going out for a ride on a motorcycle on the road can be something highly gratifying, an experience full of sensations. Freedom, independence, speed, landscapes, and curves. Getting around on two wheels is full of advantages, but we can’t forget that it also has some drawbacks. And no, neither the roads are always perfect nor the drivers with whom we share the road are always prudent, so it is essential to know the risks to which we expose ourselves in order to avoid them.