According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), over 4,000 motorcyclists have been dying yearly since 2004. With such a statistic, you cannot help but wonder, ‘is riding a motorcycle worth the risk?’
Although there are many risks such as road hazards, bad weather, and rogue cars, which could potentially cause injuries and even death, motorcycles are worth it because of benefits such as physical health, mental well-being, and convenient transportation, to name but a few.
We’ll dig deeper into this topic to explain the risks associated with riding motorcycles, the possible effects if things go wrong, and, more importantly, the benefits that make the risks worth it and how you can avoid the risks.
Let’s get to the meat and potatoes!
Is Riding a Motorcycle Worth the Risk? – The Risks vs the Benefits
What are the risks of riding a motorcycle? And what are the benefits?
The Risks of Riding a Motorcycle
Generally, riding a motorcycle is a risky exploit that you have to consider carefully. Overall, that is chiefly because of risks such as:
1. Road Hazards – Conditions like debris, potholes, big bumps, and puddles pose an immense danger to the safety of a motorcycle rider.
2. Rogue Cars – Many motorcyclists get knocked down on the road, especially by reckless drivers. Sometimes riders are not very careful and thus find themselves in head-on collisions.
3. Stormy Weather – A motorcycle is never safe when riding in bad weather like snow, heavy rains, and fog, as they often make the roads less visible.
4. Less Visibility (of the motorcycle) – Compared to vehicles, motorcycles are less visible to most motorists from a distance, especially during bad weather.
5. Less Stability – Motorcycles are not as stable as cars. Strong or violent winds, for example, could knock you off the bike because motorcycles are less stable.
Possible Consequences if Things Go Wrong
The above risks usually are associated with the following consequences:
1. Bone Fractures – Bone fractures are common after head-on collisions and falls.
2. Brain Injuries – If the motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet, the chances of suffering a brain injury are high. Sometimes, brain injuries get complicated with issues, like vision loss and speech loss.
3. Spinal Injuries – Spinal injuries are as severe as brain injuries. They could cause muscle atrophy, pressure sores, paralysis, sexual dysfunction, and bowel conditions.
4. Mental Trauma – The crashing experience can take a toll on your mental well-being. Sometimes, a severe trauma case could result in irritability, nightmares, persistent anxiety, and even memory loss.
5. Death – In a worst-case scenario, a motorbike crash could turn fatal. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Authority), 80% of motorcycle accidents result in death or grievous injuries.
The Benefits of Riding a Motorcycle
1. Fun and Thrill – Motorcycle riding is a fun adventure. It’s all about gushing out the adrenaline, and that can be overwhelming. It’s generally a good distraction outdoors.
2. Improved Physical Health – Motorcycle riding is a physical workout that impacts your physical health positively. It enables you to shed a few pounds and strengthens your leg and back muscles, which helps keep you fit.
3. Improved Mental Health – Since motorcycle riding is a good distraction, it saves you from anxiety, stress, and depression. The less you worry, the healthier you become mentally in the long run.
4. Economic Benefit – A standard motorcycle is cheaper to buy and maintain, making it cost-saving as a means of commuting. It is, therefore, an economical way of commuting and running errands.
5. Convenient Transportation – A motorcycle not only allows you to commute cheaply but to do so fast, beat traffic, and access places you would ordinarily not access with a larger motorized vehicle.
6. Social-ability – Motorcyclists have a cool factor, making them more approachable. As a result, they are easy to make friends with. So, once you start riding a motorcycle, you will likely befriend many motorcyclists.
Are Motorcycles Worth the Risk?
It’s irrefutable that motorcycle riding is a risky adventure. Nevertheless, it comes with numerous advantages that make it a worthwhile pursuit. Despite the risks, motorcycles are worth it.
The physical, mental, and economic benefits make them worth every risk. However, the secret is to find ways to stay safe on the road, which brings us to the next section.
How to Avoid the Risks of Motorcycle Riding
While motorcycle riding has a few risks, there are several things you can do to avoid them and stay safe while having the best adventure. These include:
- Wearing Safety Gear – Safety gear like a helmet, knee pads, elbow guards, body armor, boots, and gloves can help you stay safe. The helmet and body armor, in particular, are the most important if you crash.
- Staying Sober – Nothing is more dangerous than riding a motorcycle while drunk. Alcohol impairs your judgment, which means you are likely to cause an accident.
- Focusing 100% – Avoid any form of distraction, including using your phone while riding a motorcycle.
- Avoiding Bad Weather – Heavy rains, fog, winter snow, and strong winds can be hazardous. You should avoid riding under such conditions.
- Avoiding Overspeeding – Given that most motorcycle accidents are because of overspeeding, it’s a good idea to slow down, especially when the road conditions are poor.
- Being Visible – Wear a reflective jacket or vest and helmet to boost your visibility on the road, especially when there is low visibility. Keep your bike’s lights on to enhance its visibility on the road.
- Taking a Safety Course – Attending a motorcycle safety course helps you become a more responsible and careful rider.
I hear you, Alex! Are Motorcycles Worth It Now?
Generally, while motorcycle riding has various worrying risks, the benefits outweigh them. You stand to gain a lot from owning and riding a motorcycle. It’s essential, nonetheless, to take the necessary safety measures to ensure you avoid the risks and get the most from your bike.
People Also Ask
So many questions arise when it comes to motorcycle safety. People want to know if it’s safe to pursue motorcycles, the risks that exist, and whether they are worthy investments. That brings us to the following frequently asked questions.
Are Motorcycles a Good Investment?
Motorcycles are, without a doubt, a good investment. They allow you to save on commuting expenses as they can access areas you cannot access with a car. They are also fast enough to beat deadlines and enable you to carry a passenger or some load.
Are Motorcycles Actually Dangerous?
Motorcycles can be dangerous if you don’t take the necessary motorcycle safety precautions. These include wearing safety gear, not overspeeding, riding while sober, and maintaining focus. If you can ride responsibly, you eliminate or reduce the risks, making the ride safe.
Do You Regret Buying a Motorcycle?
If you regret buying a motorcycle, the chances are that you’ve been involved in an accident or are just too scared to ride it. Attending a motorcycle safety class can help you gain the basics of becoming a responsible rider. Very few riders ever regret buying a motorcycle.
Are Motorcycles Worth It Today?
Motorcycles may have become faster, thus riskier, but they are worth it today. They are worth it for commuting, thrilling rides, and for passionate racers who want to pursue a career in motocross racing.