motorcycles are safer than cars

 

Many assume that riding motorcycles is far more dangerous than driving cars. There are many sides to this argument. What appears is that this perception of motorcycles is fueled by prejudices and personal experiences.

The following section contains a list of those prejudices and their merits.

Prejudices about Motorcycle Safety

One of the main reasons why motorcycles have gotten such a bad reputation is the severity of their accidents.

On the face of it, motorcycles might come across as a far more dangerous vehicle to be on as opposed to cars. In case of a slight bump or graze, the driver and passengers in a car accident may walk away with minor injuries, thanks to seat belts and airbags.  

A motorcycle accident, on the other hand, can send the rider to the hospital even if the accident is minor.   

But true safety also comes down to a vehicle’s ability to avoid an accident in the first place. In this case, motorcycles have the upper hand. A responsible motorcyclist is more attentive and alert on the road than someone in a car who is often lulled into a false sense of security.

Here are the main reasons why motorcycles are safer than cars:

Better View

Motorcyclists enjoy a more panoramic view of the road than car drivers. This gives them the advantage of being able to see obstacles or hazards on the road earlier so that they can react in time. A simple turn of the head can give them a full view of their surroundings, and they can move left or right in order to get a better view of the road ahead.

More Maneuvering Capabilities

Due to its size, a motorcycle is able to maneuver more than a car.  Reason being, a motorcycle is smaller and hence becomes less of a target. It can be pulled onto the safety shoulder of the road, or fit between two cars if the vehicle in front suddenly stops.  One of the reasons why pile ups happen is because cars can’t change lanes quickly and have no option but to slam on the brakes.

No Sense of False Security

In a car, it’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. The protective car body, coupled with numerous safety features can make drivers feel more than a little laid back. Motorcyclists on the other hand are very aware of how vulnerable they are on the road, and they therefore act accordingly.

Greater Focus & Awareness of their Surroundings

Motorcyclists are arguably more focused than car drivers. In a car, you’re separated from the outside world. On a motorcycle, the road is right beneath your feet, the wind is rushing against your face, and you’re present in the moment.

It’s easy for car drivers to get distracted by numerous things such as:

  • Snacking on foods
  • Drinking coffee or other beverages
  • Talking to others in the car
  • Using their cell phones

Not paying attention to the road and your surroundings is the number one cause of accidents. In a car, a driver is far more prone to distractions and inattentiveness than on a motorcycle.

Is Bigger Really Better?

It seems that the idea of driving a big, strong and tough four wheel vehicle has become synonymous with safety. If this is the benchmark then motorcycles really don’t stand a chance. But is this the right approach to safety?

Motorcycles are the main means of transportation in many countries. Men and women, old and young frequently ride motorcycles and scooters in Italy, New Zealand and Malaysia. In these countries, the ultimate safety benchmark is not the size of the vehicle. There is no “fear mentality” – instead these riders associate safety with the ability to see risks, and obstacles on the road.

 

While motorcycle accidents may illustrate just how dangerous accidents can be for motorcyclists, this doesn’t automatically mean that motorcycles are more dangerous vehicles. In fact, in terms of the ability to avoid accidents, motorcycles fare much better than cars. Keeping that in mind, motorcycles may actually be safer than cars.