Motorcycles are much more dangerous than cars – 30 times more dangerous per mile traveled. But you can do some things to increase your own chances. If you do all these things below, motorcycles are still dangerous, but you might can bring your risk down to maybe 10 times more dangerous, or maybe a little better – and that might be enough for you to convince your wife to let you get one.
What you can do if your wife says motorcycles are too dangerous:
(in order of risk reduction)
1) Wear a yellow, orange, or green reflective vest (Ansi 2 or 3) (37% less risk)
Getting a vest ($7 or $8) was about the biggest change I ever made as far as safety – for the most part, people stopped pulling out in front of me and also stopped tail-gating. I have seen many drivers start to change lanes, and then they see me and do not make the lane change.
2) Wear a full coverage helmet
3) Run your headlight in the daytime (27% less risk)
4) Wear a white helmet (24% less risk compared to black helmet)
5) Wear yellow, orange, or green reflective arm bands – two inches wide – one per side
6) If possible, get a bike with ABS (37% safer)
• Increase your following distance. This is a very important way to reduce the chance of accidents on a bike. Many bike accidents are caused by the motorcycle driver.
• When you drive a motorcycle, allow no distractions, don’t daydream, and focus 100% on what you are doing and on what is happening in front of you.
• As you drive, check the road immediately ahead of you for possible problems first. When you have cleared the road immediately ahead, scan the road further ahead.
• Drive as though you expect drivers to pull out in front of you.
• In most motorcycle accidents, the front brake is applied too lightly and the rear brake is applied too hard. Practice stopping at different speeds using the brakes more effectively.
• Practice/ride the bike every chance you get. The way to become a better motorcycle driver is to ride it everyday.
• When you stop (like for a traffic light), you should leave your bike in gear and watch your mirrors so you can drive away if the driver behind you does not stop. Also, when you stop, leave enough room between you and the driver ahead of you, so you have room to make a fast exit.
• Increase your taillights and brakelights by four to six times.
• Add two front auxiliary driving lights (yellow is more noticeable than white).
• Learn how to use the five lane positions for motorcycles.
• Never drive more than 15 to 20 mph faster than the lane beside you – speed differential is very dangerous if you are on a motorcycle.
If your wife still says no, then what should you do?
I don’t know – I have to think about it………….
I love these things – they are pretty rare in the US, though.
Wife still says no - If you have been begging your wife for a while, and you realize that your chance of getting a motorcycle is just not happening, consider a trike. They are much safer than motorcycles, and have advantages that you might not be aware of (I wasn’t). And they are not just for old people – you will look just fine on one.
Basically, trikes are safer and more stable than 2 wheelers – they take up more room on the highway so you get more respect, and usually are more stable on curves and emergency stops. They can take corners at about the same speed as motorcycles.
I never thought about trikes until recently, but “less chance of me sliding along the pavement” makes it sound pretty good – my wife, kid, and dog would like it, too. I would end up riding it to work more often, as the chance of rain makes me drive the car a lot – trikes do much better in the rain than motorcycles. I like the challenge of driving my bike in the rain, but I know it is not safe.
I did not write this, but I agree with most of it
“Other things being equal riding a motorcycle is not dangerous and has a low risk of serious injury. Risk increases with WHERE you ride and HOW FAST you ride. Improving bike technology makes riding more dangerous because it encourages riding in more dangerous environments at higher speeds.
Before WWII all bikes were used off pavement because there wasn’t much pavement. Bikes had smooth tires, poor suspensions, sketchy power and spent a lot of time on dirt and gravel roads where speeds are slower and the ground a bit more forgiving to flesh.
The only thing that has “improved” safety since the pre war days is better protective gear. Put modern helmets on those pre war riders and they would have lower fatality rates but just as much enjoyment as the modern riders going faster in more hazardous environments.”