5,014 cases! That’s the number of motorcyclist deaths reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2019. Given that some cases go unreported, the numbers could be more, which begs the question, is it dangerous to ride a motorcycle?
What are some reasons you should not ride a motorcycle?
Well, motorcycle riding can be dangerous, causing deaths, personal injuries, or injuries to others. For that reason, you should know when it’s unsafe to ride one. This includes when you lack self-discipline, spatial awareness, and confidence, among other reasons.
Let’s talk more about all these reasons.
Why You Should Not Ride a Motorcycle
If you plan to avoid the side effects of motorcycle riding, such as the possibility of crashing and injuring yourself, don’t ride it if the following aspects apply to you.
1. You Lack Self-Discipline
Safe motorcycle riding is all about control, good technique, compliance with simple traffic rules, and all that requires self-discipline.
You must be self-disciplined enough to wear a helmet, observe the speed limits, and avoid getting distracted while riding. It also takes self-discipline to keep others safe when riding a motorcycle and not do anything that could cause them harm.
Without self-discipline, you aren’t cut out for riding motorcycles.
2. You Lack Spatial Awareness
Spatial awareness applies not only to motorcyclists but drivers too. If you can’t make a quick space-related decision while riding a motorcycle, you shouldn’t be riding.
If you miscalculate the distance between you and other road users, you could easily cause an accident. You should be able to judge potentially dangerous on-coming traffic and careless road users and avoid them.
You should know what speed is safe, how fast to go, how to park your bike, how to park it, where to ride on the road, and how much braking or stopping distance you need.
3. You Lack Confidence (Too Afraid to Ride)
While there is no shame in being nervous, you shouldn’t let the fear get the better of you. Once you allow fear to creep in, you lose the confidence and ability to ride a motorcycle carefully and safely.
If you are too afraid to jump onto a motorcycle and ride, you better not do it. It takes confidence to do it, and once it is lacking, you become a safety concern to yourself and others.
4. You Are a Know-It-All
It’s tempting to assume that you know everything after taking a motorcycle riding and safety course for a couple of weeks.
The problem with thinking that way is that you are likely to overlook basic safety measures on the assumption that they are trivial, but you end up endangering yourself and others. You become careless and often distracted, and that puts lives at risk.
Generally, if you are the know-it-all type, that’s a convincing reason not to ride a motorcycle. Each moment on the road riding or not riding is a learning moment, and you can learn at least one new thing every day.
5. You Are a New Rider with A Super-Fast Bike
It’s tempting for new riders to go for the speediest motorbikes because they want to outpace everyone and be the talk of the town. Unfortunately, that’s dangerous.
A speedy bike requires extra control and confidence, which new riders lack. It’s easier to control and stay safe during a crash while riding a slower motorcycle than riding a high-speed option.
If you don’t have the patience to ride slowly, use a high-speed train or bus to travel.
6. The Motorcycle Exposes You to Bad Weather
Weather elements such as the wind, snow, heavy rain, and hail can be too uncomfortable if they are on the extreme high-end. They can be too dangerous during your motorcycle riding sessions.
For example, heavy rain or snow in winter makes the road slippery and blurs your vision, making you lose control quickly. Wind can toss you off the bike or drive objects into your eyes and face, distracting you or causing a facial injury.
As for excess heat, it makes you physically uncomfortable, and it’s hard to exercise caution when facing such discomfort.
Motorcycle riding is fun. But still, it can be dangerous in equal measure. You should know the significant reasons you should not ride a motorcycle, including the six situations discussed above.
People Also Ask
After exploring the reasons you shouldn’t ride a motorcycle and the risks associated with doing it, here are the most frequently asked questions about the topic.
When Should You Not Ride a Motorcycle?
You shouldn’t ride a motorcycle whenever you feel you are not safe. This includes situations such as:
- When you are a new rider with a super-fast bike
- When the weather is too harsh and uncomfortable to ride
- When your judgment is poor on the road
- When you are afraid to get onto the bike and ride
What Are the Disadvantages of Riding a Motorcycle?
Generally, motorcycle riding comes with these disadvantages:
- It offers you limited luggage storage and carrying capacity
- Bikes are easier to steal than cars
- Not as physically comfortable and safe as cars
- Limited to carrying only one passenger
- Exposes you to harsh weather elements
- Possible personal injury or fatality when accidents occur
- Calls for physical strength to make handling and maneuverability easier.
Is It More Dangerous to Ride a Motorcycle?
Compared to driving, riding a motorcycle is more dangerous because of the reasons below.
- It exposes you more to harsh weather elements like strong winds, snow, heavy rain, and hail.
- You are less protected during an accident, unlike someone in a car
- It lacks the physical comfort of a car
Is Riding a Motorcycle Hard?
Riding a motorcycle is not as hard as most beginner motorcyclists take it to be. All it takes is some confidence, extra attention, and good technique. And of course, it’s good to have someone experienced to show you the basics or, better, attend a motorcycle riding and safety training.
At What Age Should You Stop Riding a Motorcycle?
There is no specific age limit for riding a motorcycle in most states, except when the rider is too young or old to make rational judgments and maneuver the bike. Overall, it depends not only on age but also on one’s physical and mental health.
In that case, motorcyclists above 60 years with preexisting physical or mental conditions may find it hard to ride motorcycles. Most people stop riding bikes when between 60-85 years old, depending on local state laws, general health, capabilities, and confidence levels.