For motorcyclists, the spring. The open roads an invitation. Warm, dry weather should mean free roads for bikers, or? Surprisingly, however, 63% of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2019 occurred between May and September. It turns out that weather has less to do with accidents than you might think. Instead, studies suggest that the time of day you ride is the highest risk for motorcycle safety.
The most dangerous times of day to ride a motorcycle are rush hour and weekend nights. The greatest risk for motorcycle accidents is between 3 p.M. And 9 p.M. On weekdays. Motorcycle accidents at the weekend, which are after 18.00 o'clock occur, but are responsible for 48% of fatal motorcycle accidents. This means that most accidents occur on weekend nights. Also, riding on the roads in bright sunlight. Direct sunlight poses a significant risk. Glare from the sun causes hundreds of accidents every year, whether it's from riding in direct sunlight in the morning hours or from the light changing at sunset. Riding at dusk poses an increased risk of glare when oncoming traffic turns on headlights.
Sobering facts about motorcycle safety
You already know that riding a motorcycle increases the risk of an accident and the likelihood of suffering serious injuries in a crash. Here are some sobering facts about motorcycle safety:
Motorcyclists are 29 times more likely to be in a fatal crash than occupants of cars.
80% of motorcycle accidents result in injuries, 45% of which are serious.
Two-thirds of single-vehicle motorcycle crashes (with no other drivers involved) occur because of excessive speed.
More than 50% of motorcycle accidents involving multiple vehicles (with other riders) occur at intersections.
40% of all single-vehicle motorcycle fatalities occur at curves and when making turns.
In 2019, 34% of fatal motorcycle crashes involved sport and supersport motorcycles.
The fatality rate for sport bike riders is twice that of conventional motorcycle riders, while the fatality rate for supersport riders is four times that of conventional motorcycles.
One-third of motorcycle accidents are due to drunk driving.
Motorcycle safety on the road
To stay safe on the road, avoid evening rush hours and weekends, as well as times when sunlight obstructs visibility. Since this is not always possible, here are some safety tips for motorcyclists to keep you safe.
1. Motorcycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injuries by 69. Reduce the risk of death by over 50%. When choosing a helmet, the National Highway Safety Administration emphasizes proper fit.
Always wear sunglasses or goggles, as well as long pants, boots, gloves and a thick jacket. Avoid loose-fitting clothing, and choose bright, highly visible colors. Since most motorcycle accidents occur close to home and on short trips, get in the habit of wearing your protective gear every time you hit the road.
2. Observe the traffic rules
Stop at traffic lights and stop signs, use your turn signals, and obey speed limits. All traffic rules apply to motorcycles as well as cars.
Ride defensively and always assume other vehicles cannot see you on the road. This means taking extra care when changing lanes and making turns. Try to stay out of drivers' blind spots, and always watch for unexpected turns, stops, and lane changes.
Changing lanes for any reason is illegal in Maryland. If you must pass a vehicle, follow the same traffic rules that apply to passing with a car.
3. Avoid distractions
Distractions while driving are bad enough, but distractions on a motorcycle can be deadly, too. Avoid when riding your motorcycle:
Using electronic devices
Adjusting your music while driving
4. Maintain your motorcycle
Routine maintenance of your motorcycle is an important part of motorcycle safety. Low tire pressure, cracked hoses, leaking fuel tanks and poorly oiled chains can cause your motorcycle to let you down, and when that happens, it happens at the worst possible time.
Seasonal maintenance is important to keep your motorcycle running safely and reliably.
5. Ride sober
Motorcycle safety can be complicated enough when you are sober. Do not drive drunk or even tipsy. Since one-third of all motorcycle accidents are due to alcohol consumption, driving under the influence is not only unsafe, but also illegal.
It's not just alcohol that can get you in big trouble; Maryland recognizes "driving under the influence" as grounds for a DUI. In other words, drunk driving applies to any substance that impairs your judgment, slows your reaction time, and clouds your thought processes.
Stay safe on the road
As more and more motorcycles gear up for warm weather, motorcycle safety is more important than ever. Stay visible, stay alert and stay safe.