You’re out on a rustic road enjoying the scenery near sunset. Suddenly, not one or two, but three deer run across the road. If you’re in a car, the odds are still with you. If you’re on a motorcycle and a collision with one of those deer occurs, the results can be tragic. With other hazards to navigate as well, from unseen potholes to slick spots, helmets and proper leather attire are all the more important. ‘Road rash’ is a rather innocuous name for the results for skin, muscle and nerves when they slide along the road. ‘Traumatic brain injury’ is a less innocent sounding result of the impact of one’s head and some immovable object, like the road itself or a tree. This result is all the more common when the rider lacks a helmet.
Motorcyclists already face an uphill battle when it comes to safety. Then, they make it worse. When compared to those driving cars, bikers are more likely be in accidents without a valid license, with alcohol in their system, and while speeding. 21% of motorcycle accidents involve a biker without a valid license. That number drops to 14% for those driving automobiles. One in four car accidents are caused by alcohol, but one in three motorcycle accidents are similarly caused. 24% of car accidents involve excessive speed. 37% of motorcycle accidents involve speeding.
Add these statistics together, and the increased chances of injury or death in motorcycle accidents is staggering. 20% of car accidents result in injury. But, fully 80% of motorcycle accidents involve injury. Statistically, the choice for a driver over 40 to take a trip on a bike rather than in a car increases their chance of dying in an accident by 20 times. If the driver is under 40 years of age, that statistical chance of death increases to 36 times. However, wear a helmet, drive sober, have a valid license and don’t speed, and your chances substantially improve.