There have been some rumblings in and around my house of late. Two of the young men who are in a Bible study group my wife and I host have recently bought a motorcycle. My kids love to hear them roar out of our driveway.
They are responsible young men so I don’t worry about them so much. I don’t think they would do anything crazy on a bike. What I worry about are other drivers. I’m hoping they take as many precautions as necessary when they ride.
Any experienced and smart motorcyclist knows that you need to wear the right protective gear any time you get on a bike. It’s not just about staying on the right side of the law, but it’s also about your own personal safety.
The statistics bear that out. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 report, there were over 4,586 deaths resulting from motorcycle crashes. Although this was a decrease from the 4,692 deaths in 2013, the figures are still quite high.
Fatalities occurring from motorcycle accidents are much higher than those resulting from accidents involving passenger cars. According to the NHTSA’s 2013 report, the motorcyclists are 26 times more likely to die in an accident than passengers in a car. The report also shows that motorcyclists are five times more prone to injuries for every mile traveled compared to other vehicles on the road.
Don’t Be This Guy
I’ve learned some new terminology about biking recently, specifically about those who don’t take biking seriously.
Not all State governments are strict about wearing safety gear. Therefore, some motorcyclists take advantage and ride their bikes unprotected. These people are known as squids.
A squid is a motorcyclist who underestimates the dangers of riding a motorcycle and boasts about their riding skills. They ride without safety gear and perform tricks on their bikes. They deem themselves invincible.
Before you get sucked in by the idea that being a ‘squid’ is cool, check out the following consequences of riding your motorcycle unprotected:
1. You may suffer fines and penalties
Many states take motorcycle accident statistics seriously. They are now enforcing laws to ensure motorcyclists wear safety gear. If you’re found riding a motorcycle without safety gear by a law enforcement officer, you’re likely to be charged and will have to pay some fine or penalty as a result.
2. Exposure to the elements
The weather in various parts of the country can be extreme. It can be very hot in the summer and unbearably cold in the winter. Protective gear is necessary no matter what part of the country you’re riding your bike in. You’ll be exposed to windburn or sunburn without the right gear.
The right gear will also keep illnesses resulting from exposure at bay. You’ll be healthy enough to enjoy your bike for longer.
3. Exposure to serious injuries and increased chances of fatalities
Motorcycles don’t have protective structures such as those in cars to protect passengers and riders. The simple act of wearing a helmet when riding on a motorcycle will go a long way in protecting you from brain damage in case of an accident. Other protective gear including gloves, jackets, motorcycle jeans and riding boots will also protect your body in case of a fall.
4. Poor vision and greater risk of accidents
Wearing a helmet will ensure that you are able to see the road clearly. You’ll be protected from debris and bugs. Not wearing protection for your eyes will put you at risk of an accident.
5. You won’t be visible to other motorists
Motorcycles are small compared to other vehicles on the road. If you fail to wear brightly colored protective gear, other motorists on the road may fail to see you. This increases your chances of being involved in an accident.
Wearing protective gear is important for any motorcyclist and so is being fully covered with motorcycle insurance. Need some help on how to find a good quote? Check out this handy post on how to compare motorcycle insurance.
And above all, don’t be a squid. There is nothing cool about it. Sooner or later it will only lead you to disaster.
Questions for Discussion: Do you always wear safety gear? Have you ever seen someone doing something crazy on a bike?