Few traveling on the road are more susceptible to serious injury than motorcycle and scooter riders. In states like California, motorcycle accidents are a constant concern for officials and numerous initiatives have been launched in the past to cut the numbers of injured riders.
While the responsibility for preventing motorcycle accidents is often laid on the shoulders of other drivers, motorcycle and scooter owners can do a lot to help themselves. But are they?
A recent survey by Consumer Reports tackled the question of motorcycle and scooter safety, looking at the riders themselves. They found that:
- 10 percent of respondents reported involvement in at least one accident, half of which involved only the motorcycle or scooter. Such instances were often caused by mistakes such as taking a corner too wide or turning to sharply and sliding out.
- Motorcycle safety classes are an integral part of safe riding, but only about 50 percent reported that they had taken a safety instruction course.
- Close to 25 percent of respondents admitted that they did not always wear a helmet while riding.
As Consumer Reports points out, after helmets, use of other safety gear drops significantly. Only about half of those participating in the survey reported wearing protective boots and even less wear gloves.
Only 25 percent wear a protective jacket while riding, and less than one in 10 wear protective pants. Meanwhile, 60 percent said they had ridden in a short-sleeved shirt and 25 percent admitted to shorts.
While other drivers could do much better in watching for motorcyclists and those on scooters, it is important for the riders themselves to take the initiative and dress appropriately. Especially for those who ride motorcycles on busy roads, one mistake by you or another driver could result in severe injury or death.
It may feel nice to ride without things like helmets, but in the end, the risk isn't worth it.
- Survey: Motorcycle, scooter riders report safety habits, crashes (Consumer Reports)