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Do motorcycles deserve their dangerous reputation?

If you ask the average person if it's more dangerous to ride in a car or ride a motorcycle, he or she is likely going to pick the motorcycle. They have a reputation not just for fast top speeds and excitement, but for increasing the odds that a person will be injured or killed in an accident. Is this reputation warranted?

It is. Statistics show motorcycle fatalities massively outpace car fatalities. In fact, one study said that there were 26 times as many motorcycle deaths in one year, when looking at the number of fatalities per miles driven.

It is important to keep that qualification in mind. In that study, there were more than 4,000 motorcycle deaths, which is far less than the amount of deaths in other cars and trucks. However, since motorcycles are so uncommon and cover so few miles, comparatively speaking, they lead to a vastly inflated percentage of deaths.

Now, this is not to put the fault on the motorcycle riders. The real issue is structural protection, which a car offers and a motorcycle does not.

If you're involved in a motorcycle crash at 30 mph, when another driver pulls out in front of you, you can be thrown from the bike and into oncoming traffic. The same accident in a full-sized car or SUV may be little more than a property damage case.

What this means is that mistakes -- even those made by others -- are simply more dire for motorcycle riders. It's important for them to know what legal options they have when these errors lead to accidents and injuries.

Source: How Stuff Works, "Are motorcycles really more dangerous than cars?," Cherise Threewitt, accessed April 04, 2018

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