Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving

DANGERS > VEHICLES > MOTORCYCLES

Motorcycles

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Of all the vehicle types, motorcyclists are the most vulnerable due to the high speeds and lack of protection.

⚠️ Note that a number of clips contain serious collisions.

We focus on the areas where things can go wrong:

☠️ Alert:

? Questions:

Dangers Vehicles Motorcycles

Changing Lane

Changing lanes is fraught with danger between motorists and motorcyclists, be it either of the two that is changing lanes.

Collision

This section looks at where motorcyclists ride into each other or cyclists.

Curve

A curve is a threat to a motorcycle for a couple of reasons.

It only takes one wheel to lose traction and thereby control.

Overshooting the curve can either result in a collision with an oncoming vehicle, colliding with a barrier, or riding off the road.

Cut Off

Try not to ride alongside a car which may side-swipe you.

Cut-Through

A cut-through, be it a motorist or motorcyclist, puts the biker at risk as there is very little time to respond to a vehicle crossing paths.

Danger

⚠️ ⚠️ A general category containing some more unusual and serious accidents.

Fire

The petrol tank and pipes are more exposed on a motorcycle; hence fires are more prevalent in the case of an accident.

Head On

A head on collision is the most serious of impacts because of the combined speed of the vehicles involved.

Hit and Run

Those involved in an accident, by law, need to stop.

Aside from the law, the conscience of a normal person should dictate not to flee the scene.

Impaired

Needless to say, substance abuse and motorcycles don’t mix well.

Intersection

A motorcyclist is at much greater risk in an intersection because of not being as visible as larger vehicles.

It is good to wear brightly colored clothing and helmet to be more visible, as well as to always have the headlight on. Even then, never to assume that others have seen you.

Also, very important to reduce speed before entering an intersection.

Lane Splitting

⚠️Riding between a line of vehicles is prone to all sorts of things going wrong.

The higher the speed differential, the greater the danger.

Obstacles

Obstacles are a hazard and could be anything from an island in the road to something falling off a car, and anything in-between.

Overtaking

Generally, overtaking for motorcycles is less dangerous than for other vehicles because the acceleration is quicker, depending on the engine size, as well as being nimbler. However, if things don’t go as planned, the consequences are more disastrous.

Pedestrians

⚠️The collision between motorcyclists and pedestrians could have disastrous consequences for both.

Rage

Motorcyclists are more prone to road rage because they are more aware of the consequences of inconsiderate driving on the road, but at the same time more vulnerable to any retaliatory acts.

Rear

⚠️Depending on the speeds involved, rear-ending for motorcyclists, either riding into, or being ridden into, can pose a serious danger.

Runaway

Although fairly rare, depending on speed, a runaway motorcycle out of control, can pose a danger to other road users.

Shoulder

Because of being less visible, it is more dangerous for motorcyclists to enter, use, or exit from the shoulder of a road.

Side

⚠️Vehicles entering from the side present a grave danger as there is little time to take evasive action or reduce speed.

Slide

An induced slide, along with the resultant damages and injuries, could often be the better option of evasive action.

Stupid

Often times antics come off worse than intended.

Surface

Motorcycles are more susceptible to irregular or slippery road surfaces and should therefore exercise more caution.

Swipe

In a road rage incident, a biker is vulnerable to being sideswiped by a motorist.

Turning

Motorcyclists need to be on the lookout for any vehicles ahead that are turning, be it to the opposite side of the road from the same direction, or to the same side of the road from the oncoming direction.

⚠️Opposite Side

This is where a motorcyclist is overtaking a vehicle and that vehicle turns across the road, thereby intersecting the path of the motorcyclist.

⚠️Same Side

This is an all too common and dangerous scenario where an oncoming vehicle turns across the road, directly into the path of a motorcyclist.

Wrong Lane

Be vigilant for any vehicles encroaching onto your side of the road and ensure that you don’t do the same.

☠️Worldwide motorcycle accident statistics

While I don't have access to real-time data, I can provide some general information about worldwide motorcycle accident statistics based on available data up until my last knowledge update in September 2021. It's important to note that accident statistics can vary by country and region, and the data provided here is a broad overview:

  • Fatalities: Motorcycles have a higher fatality rate compared to other vehicles. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), motorcycles represent a disproportionate number of road traffic deaths globally, accounting for around 23% of the total road traffic deaths, despite motorcycles making up a smaller percentage of the overall vehicle fleet.

  • Developing countries: Motorcycle accidents and fatalities are often more prevalent in developing countries with rapidly growing motorization rates, insufficient road infrastructure, and lower helmet use rates. These countries tend to have higher proportions of motorcycle fatalities compared to other types of vehicles.

  • Helmet use: Helmet use is a critical factor in reducing motorcycle accident fatalities and severe injuries. According to the WHO, helmets can reduce the risk of death by around 40% and the risk of severe injury by about 70%. However, helmet use varies greatly across countries, and in some regions, compliance with helmet laws may be low.

  • Contributing factors: Motorcycle accidents are influenced by various factors, including speeding, impaired driving (due to alcohol or drugs), lack of training or experience, inadequate protective gear, and non-compliance with traffic laws.

It's worth noting that accurate and up-to-date statistics can vary by country and may be subject to different reporting methodologies and data collection systems. It's advisable to consult local government or transportation authorities in a specific region for the most current and detailed motorcycle accident statistics.

? Are motorcycles dangerous?

Motorcycles, like any form of transportation, carry inherent risks. They are generally considered more dangerous than cars due to their smaller size, lack of physical protection, and higher vulnerability in traffic. However, it's important to note that the level of risk can vary depending on several factors:

  • Rider behavior and skill: The behavior and skill of the motorcyclist play a significant role in safety. Riding within the speed limit, following traffic laws, wearing appropriate protective gear (such as helmets and protective clothing), and undergoing proper training can help mitigate the risks associated with motorcycle riding.

  • Other road users: Motorcyclists share the road with other vehicles, and the behavior of other drivers can impact their safety. Awareness, caution, and defensive riding techniques can help motorcyclists anticipate and respond to potential hazards caused by other road users.

  • Road conditions and environment: Uneven surfaces, potholes, debris, and adverse weather conditions can pose additional risks to motorcyclists. Being mindful of road conditions and adjusting riding techniques accordingly can help minimize the dangers.

  • Vehicle maintenance: Regular maintenance and proper functioning of the motorcycle, including tires, brakes, lights, and signals, are crucial for safe riding. Neglecting maintenance can increase the risk of accidents.

While motorcycles carry inherent risks, many riders enjoy the freedom, thrill, and efficiency they offer. It's essential for riders to prioritize their safety by taking precautions, using protective gear, maintaining their motorcycles properly, and continuously improving their riding skills. Additionally, promoting awareness and understanding among all road users about sharing the road safely with motorcycles can help create a safer environment for everyone.

? Where do motorcycle accidents most occur?

Motorcycle accidents can occur in various locations, but certain scenarios and environments are more commonly associated with motorcycle crashes. Here are some common locations where motorcycle accidents tend to occur:

  • Intersections: Intersections, including intersections with traffic lights, stop signs, or roundabouts, are a common site for motorcycle accidents. Collisions can happen when other vehicles fail to yield right of way, make improper turns, or run red lights.

  • Urban areas: The higher density of traffic, frequent stops and starts, and interactions with pedestrians and other vehicles in urban areas can increase the likelihood of motorcycle accidents.

  • Curves and bends: Motorcyclists are vulnerable to accidents on curves and bends, particularly when they approach them at high speeds, fail to properly negotiate the turn, or encounter unexpected hazards like gravel or oil on the road.

  • Highways and rural roads: Motorcycle accidents can occur on highways and rural roads due to factors such as high speeds, limited visibility, sudden lane changes, and interactions with larger vehicles.

  • Lane splitting/filtering: Lane splitting, where motorcyclists ride between lanes of slower-moving or stopped vehicles, is a practice in some regions. While it can be legal in certain areas, it poses risks, especially if motorists are not aware of or expect motorcycles passing between lanes.

  • Parking lots: Low-speed collisions, often occurring during parking or maneuvering in parking lots, can lead to motorcycle accidents. Drivers backing out of parking spaces or failing to see a motorcycle are common causes.

It's important to note that motorcycle accidents can happen anywhere, and the specific circumstances of each accident can vary. The best approach for motorcyclists is to consistently practice safe riding habits, maintain situational awareness, and anticipate potential risks in all environments. Additionally, promoting awareness among all road users about sharing the road safely with motorcycles can contribute to reducing the likelihood of accidents.

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Street Survival - Advanced Defensive Driving