If you ride a motorcycle, you will have experienced drivers of other vehicles putting your life in danger. You likely know motorcyclists who were injured or killed due to a driver’s negligence. So it can be frustrating when people tell you what you should do to stay safe, especially if they have never ridden a motorcycle themselves.
However, before we blame it all on the drivers, it is essential to remember that not all motorcyclist deaths are caused by other vehicles. According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), 37% of motorcyclists who died on the roads in 2018 did so without another vehicle’s involvement.
One thing is sure. Coming off your bike, for whatever reason, is likely to hurt and could be fatal. So, to increase your chances of survival, it pays to plan for hitting the ground:
- Helmets: Studies show these increase your chance of survival by 37% and reduce the possibility of a head injury by 69%. They are also mandatory in California. If you only buy one protective piece of clothing, make it a helmet.
- Jackets: There is no hard evidence that a protective coat will save your life, but it can certainly save your skin.
- Gloves: Gripping the throttle or typing at your keyboard will be much harder if your unprotected hands hit the tarmac. Gloves are a cheap item that can make a big difference.
- Boots: It’s a lot harder to ride a motorcycle with a broken foot or lower leg. If you do crash, protective boots may mean you can get back on your bike sooner.
- Trousers: These will prevent or reduce road rash and could save you from lifelong scarring.
You cannot change the behavior of other road users but you can take steps to keep yourself safer if you do crash.. If you wear the protective clothing listed above, there is a greater chance you will still be alive to claim compensation after a motorcycle accident.