Are Motorcycle Riders at Greater Risk of Injury than other Motorists?

Greater Risk of Injury If you own a motorcycle you undoubtedly enjoy the freedom of riding through Tennessee’s magnificent rolling hills and unspoiled back country roads. There is simply nothing like the feel of the wind on your face as you glide down the road on a beautiful summer day. Unfortunately, however, all of that comes at a price because bikers remain at greater risk of injury than other motorists. Why are motorcycle riders at greater risk of injury? Contrary to what many people believe, the answer has more to do with other motorists than with the motorcycles themselves.

While it is true that motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than passenger vehicles, the greatest risk to bikers comes from other drivers on the roadway. No one would argue that a motorcycle lacks the protection afforded the occupants of a passenger vehicle by virtue of the fact that a passenger vehicle puts a barrier of steel between the occupants and an oncoming vehicle. Clearly, when a biker is involved in a collision with another motor vehicle the biker is at a significant disadvantage given the absolute lack of protection a motorcycle offers. All of this certainly contributes to the increased risk motorcycle enthusiasts face each time they decide to go for a ride; however, none of that would matter if the collision itself could be prevented.

The biggest threat to a motorcyclist’s safety is the presence of other vehicles on the roadway. More specifically, other vehicles that are oblivious to the presence of the motorcycle. Despite efforts by both public law enforcement agencies and private advocacy groups to raise awareness of the presence of motorcycles on the nation’s roadways, motorists involved in collisions with motorcycles continue to claim they never saw the motorcycle prior to the collision. Studies repeatedly conclude that the number one cause of motorcycle accidents is the failure of other vehicles to detect the motorcycle in traffic until it is too late to avoid the collision. Because there is no way to avoid driving in traffic with other vehicles, the best a motorcycle rider can do is take steps to make himself/herself more visible, including:

  • Wearing reflective clothing, particularly at night.
  • Use reflective stickers/paint on the bike itself.
  • Maintain as much distance between you and other vehicles.
  • Always turn light on at dawn, dust, and in the rain.
  • Never ride on the shoulder.
  • When riding in groups, maintain a two abreast riding style.
  • Watch for turning vehicles – the most common accident scenario occurs when a passenger vehicle turns into the path of a motorcycle.

If you have been injured in a Tennessee motorcycle accident, consult with the experienced Tennessee motorcycle accident attorneys at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.



Dinah Michael