How safe is motorcycling?

Seaway News - - LIFESTYLE - MOTORCYCLING

You have prob­a­bly heard from var­i­ous sources that motorcycling is an ex­tremely danger­ous sport. Just how danger­ous is i t ? S o m e w i l l ar­gue that driv­ing a car is danger­ous; rid­ing a bi­cy­cle is danger­ous; walk­ing down the street can be danger­ous and so on.

Dan­ger, sim­ply put, is one’s ex­po­sure to harm or in­jury. So if we ride a mo­tor­cy­cle, we are risk­ing in­jury or harm to our­selves. The key then to safe rid­ing is min­i­miz­ing this risk.

It is a fact that rid­ing a mo­tor­cy­cle is more risky than driv­ing a car. On a mo­tor­cy­cle we are ex­posed not only to the el­e­ments but also to ev­ery­thing else around us. The ve­hi­cle we are rid­ing has ab­so­lutely no pro­tec­tion in a col­li­sion. In a car we are sur­rounded by a metal frame, pro­tected by air bags and seat belts and ex­cept for some high speed col­li­sions, we gen­er­ally re­main on four wheels fol­low­ing an ac­ci­dent.

Vis­i­bil­ity is an­other risk we must con­sider. A mo­tor­cy­cle is at best half the size of a car and in heavy traf­fic can of­ten be ob­scured by larger ve­hi­cles. The most com­mon ex­cuse heard af­ter a mo­torist col­lides with a mo­tor­cy­clist is, “ I did not see him.”

Rid­ing on two wheels rather than four in­tro­duces a whole host of other risks such as weather, road con­di­tions, wild an­i­mals and dark­ness to name a few. Any one of th­ese can cause a col­li­sion or loss of con­trol re­sult­ing in a spill. So I think we can all agree that dan­ger does lurk around ev­ery cor­ner when we ride one of th­ese two-wheeled ma­chines. Our job, as re­spon­si­ble rid­ers, is to min­i­mize th­ese risks. To do that we must al­ways be aware of our sur­round­ings and we must al­ways be in com­plete con­trol of our mo­tor­cy­cles.

Motorcycling is not without risk; how­ever, it is an ex­cit­ing and en­joy­able pas­time when safety is up­per­most in our minds. How we keep risk to a min­i­mum will be dis­cussed in fu­ture col­umns.

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