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What makes motorcycling dangerous?

What is it that compels you to ride a motorcycle? Is it the convenience of nipping through the traffic? The low cost compared to running a car? Or maybe you feel more alive when on two wheels than four.

Many car drivers believe motorcyclists have a death wish. While there may be a few who ride a bike to define their limits, most motorcyclists intend to return home safely at the end of each day. Nevertheless, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous than driving a car. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Two-wheels are less stable than four:  Riders are more prone to slippery surfaces. A patch of black ice or loose gravel can be far more dangerous on two wheels than four. You cannot fall off a car either.
  • Lack of protection in a crash:  The sense of being open to the elements, rather than trapped inside a steel cage, is part of motorcycling’s attraction. Yet it is also what makes you more vulnerable.
  • Smaller vehicles are harder to see:  Bikes are much narrower and smaller, so harder to see than a car. Cars have two lights at the front and rear, most motorcycles have only one, which again makes motorcycles less visible. Distracted driving is also an increasing problem.

If more car drivers understood why motorcyclists are vulnerable, there would be fewer motorcyclists injured or killed by cars. Motorcycles have as much right as a car to be on the road. Being the bigger vehicle, car drivers have a responsibility to take extra care around motorcycles. If the two collide, it will almost certainly be the motorcyclist who comes off worse.