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Motorcycle Accidents

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS ENGLISH 215 28 AUGUST 2011 Motorcyclists are more prone to die in accidents than those in automobiles. Accidents are caused by the motorcycle itself, the lack of experience, not wearing proper gear, riding at excessive speeds, and inexperienced automobile drivers. The main reason for most motorcycle accidents are caused by motorcyclist that operate their vehicles without wearing the proper protection.

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A safe and secure cyclist wears a helmet if riding one mile or two hundred miles.

Without a helmet, a person is leaving themselves open for the potential for many different types of injuries when riding a motorcycle, in particular injuries to the brain. There are many dangers which can be waiting on the highway for motorcyclists and many of these are preventable by being properly ready to ride and always being safe. Some believe that motorcycles are temptation for fate; unlike cars that have overhead covering, seatbelts, windshields, and two extra tires. Motorcycles provide no safety features for the rider. This seems to be a good enough reason for most people to avoid riding motorcycles.

A select few individuals are willing to take this chance at fate and enjoy the thrill and excitement of riding on the open road. There are many injuries and fatalities associated with motorcycles that cause most people to be against operating motorcycles. Some people have even lost love ones because of the love of motorcycles. Once the collision has occurred, or the rider has lost control through some other mishap, several common types of injury occur when the bike falls: * Collision with less forgiving protective barriers, or badly placed roadside “furniture” (lampposts, signs, fences etc. This is often simply a result of poor road design, and can be engineered out to a large degree. Note that when one falls off a motorcycle in the middle of a curve, lamps and signs create a “wall” of sorts with little chance to avoid slamming against a pole. * Concussion and brain damage, as the head violently contacts other vehicles or objects. Riders wearing an approved helmet reduce the risk of death by 37 percent. ( Wald, Matthew, 12

September 2007, The New York Times) The Hurt Report also commented on injuries after an accident stating that the likelihood of injury is extremely high in these motorcycle accidents – 98% of the multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury. ( U. S. Department of Transportation. ) People who ride motorcycles most realize that due to the extreme risk of riding, certain protective gear must be worn to help minimize injuries.

The most important piece of equipment is the helmet. Operating a motorcycle without a helmet is just ludicrous. Riders should want to be highly visible at night. When a motorcyclist is not visible to others at night they become more susceptible to being injured by other vehicles. The wearing of bright or reflective clothing helps other people notice you at night. Abrasion resistant clothing is a must. This material help protect against debris and major cuts. Wearing jackets and pants that have extra padding assists in protecting the motorcyclist from extreme impacts.

Gloves are very important as well. Depending on the weather a riders hands may become moist or damp and could potentially cause the hands to slip of the throttle. The proper foot wear is very important because a rider most protect his ankles and have the necessary grip on the foot pegs to ensure a safe posture. Speeding also plays a part in the fatalities and injuries of motorcyclist. Motorcyclists tend to be very competitive when it comes to motorcycles. They often choose to speed but lack the experience to handle the speed.

Inexperience motorcyclist and automobile drivers play a big part in most accidents. Most automobile operators lack the necessary skills to operate a motor vehicle. The average person goes to the DMV and takes the written test and passes it. Then go straight to the driving portion without going through any type of driver’s training. Attending drivers safety courses can help reduce injuries and fatalities among motorcyclist and automobile operators. Most states highly encourage people to attend these classes but few actually attend.

Even with over 1,500 locations in USA, and over 120,000 annual students, MSF only trains about 3% of the owners of 4,000,000 new motorcycles sold for highway use. (Motorcycle Safety Foundation. ) There are many reasons for motorcycle accidents and fatalities and some of them are unavoidable, but it is up to the individual to decide whether they want to operate the vehicle, regardless of the dangers. REFERENCES www. ct. gov/dot/LIB/dot/Documents/dhighwaysafety Department of Transportation. www. nytimes. com/2007/09/12/us/12helment. html New York Times. www. msf-usa. org/SafeCycling/Safe_Cycling Motorcycle Safety Foundation