Motorcycles are less stable and less visible than cars and often have high performance capabilities. When motorcycles crash, their riders lack the protection of an enclosed vehicle, so they're more likely to be injured or killed. The federal government estimates that per mile traveled in 2015, the number of deaths on motorcycles was nearly 29 times the number in cars. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
2017. Traffic safety facts, 2015: motorcycles. Report no. DOT HS-812-353. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation. Because serious head injury is common among fatally injured motorcyclists, helmet use is important. Helmets are about 37 percent effective in preventing motorcycle deaths Deutermann, W. 2004. Motorcycle helmet effectiveness revisited. Report no. DOT HS-809-715. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
and about 67 percent effective in preventing brain injuries. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2008. Traffic safety facts, laws: motorcycle helmet use laws. Report no. DOT HS-810-887W. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Transportation. Yet only 19 states and the District of Columbia mandate helmet use by all riders. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are not designed for on-highway use, but in recent years more than 300 riders died in crashes on public roads annually.
The following facts are based on analysis of data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Posted December 2017.See Also: Motorcycle Sound Effect
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If you ride a motorcycle, you already know how much fun riding can be. You understand the exhilaration of cruising the open road and the challenge of controlling a motorcycle. But motorcycling also can be dangerous. The latest vehicle mile travel data show motorcyclists are about 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash and 6 times as likely to be injured.
Safe motorcycling takes balance, coordination, and good judgment. Here are some ways to ensure that you'll be around to enjoy riding your motorcycle for many years to come.