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Why Motorcycles Are More Dangerous Than Cars

By Jason Bottlinger on March 24, 2022

Riding a motorcycle is a great way to get around. It’s fun, economical, and it gives you an unbeatable sense of freedom. But riding a motorcycle is much more dangerous than driving a car.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in accidents than people in passenger cars based on the number of miles they travel. The NHTSA also tells us that more than 80 percent of all reported motorcycle accidents result in injury or death to the motorcycle rider

Why Motorcycles Accidents Are So Dangerous

One of the main reasons why motorcycles are more dangerous than passenger vehicles is because a car with four wheels is more stable than a motorcycle. And a motorcycle doesn’t provide the kind of occupant protection that a car does – there is no cabin, roof, airbags, or seatbelts to protect and secure the rider.

When a motorcycle crashes or stops suddenly, the laws of motion continue to propel the rider at the speed they were traveling. If the rider doesn’t collide with an object, they are likely to be ejected from the bike and fly through the air before landing, often suffering serious injuries on impact.

Safe Riding Tips

One of the biggest factors leading to motorcycle accidents is inexperience. Over time, riders learn how to avoid accidents. Forty percent of motorcycle accidents don’t involve another vehicle. Many of those accidents could be avoided if the rider had been more cautious.

The following tips will help you stay safe on the road:

  • Drive defensively. About one third of motorcycle accidents happen when drivers merge into a motorcycle’s path because they simply don’t see you. Always stay alert, and it helps to wear brightly colored gear that’s noticeable to drivers.
  • Avoid reckless driving. Speeding, especially while turning, is a major cause of motorcycle accidents. Attempting risky maneuvers such as weaving between cars can also lead to dangerous crashes.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Twenty-eight percent of riders who die in crashes are under the influence of alcohol.
  • Be extra careful at intersections. This is the most common place for motorcycle accidents to occur. Motorcycle riders are frequently struck by oncoming cars while executing a left turn.
  • Watch out for slippery surfaces. Snow, rain, ice, and loose gravel can all cause a motorcycle rider to lose traction and relinquish control of the bike.
  • Wear protective clothing including eye protection, over the ankle footwear with nonslip soles, long pants, a heavy jacket, and full fingered gloves. Wearing motorcycle leathers will add an additional level of protection against injuries and road rash.
  • Always wear a helmet. It’s the law in Nebraska, and riders with helmets are 37 percent less likely to suffer a fatality if a crash occurs.

Motorcycle Laws in Nebraska

Here’s what motorcycle riders need to so to stay safe and legal in Nebraska:

  • Never engage in lane splitting (driving in between cars).
  • Always wear a helmet with a chin strap and lining that meet the U.S. Department of

Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218, 49 C.F.R. 571.218.

  • Your bike must be equipped with a permanent seat for the rider.
  • Riders must sit astride the bike in their seat facing forward.
  • To carry a passenger, your bike must be equipped with a sidecar or a spare seat and footrests.
  • Handlebars cannot be placed more than 15 inches above the mounting point of the handlebars.
  • You must have a Class M License or a Provisional Operator’s Permit POP

Have You Been Injured in an Accident?

An experienced motorcycle accident attorney knows how to get you the best settlement to cover the cost of your injuries and other expenses related to your accident.

At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we handle cases in Nebraska, Iowa, Texas, and throughout the Midwest. Call (402) 505-8234 today to schedule a FREE consultation and speak with an experienced Omaha automobile accident attorney. We’re on your side.

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