What are the three best ways to crash and kill yourself on a motorcycle? Bear in mind that motorcyclists just you like you and I get killed every day. Some crash and die instantly and some endure severe, painful trauma before succumbing to their injuries.
A variety of factors can influence motorcycle crashes, including being inexperienced with one’s bike, insufficient riding skills, being fatigued, cold, hot, hungry, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
But for those among us who want to die on a motorcycle in a more statistically popular fashion, here are three factors to consider:
1) Drink alcohol and go for a ride. 43% of riders killed in single-vehicle crashes were legally drunk. It’s kind of hard to blame anyone other than the rider in a single-vehicle crash.
2) The second is related. Motorcycle riders killed in night-time crashes are three times more likely to be drunk than those killed in day-time crashes. Alternatively, I guess you could say that if you don’t want to be three times more likely to get killed while drinking and riding, you’re better off maintaining the practice while the sun is shining.
3) More than 80% of all motorcycle crashes result in injury or death to the motorcyclist. That’s probably not news to most riders. Personally, I’m surprised that there are 20% of riders who walk away from motorcycle crashes without an injury as a souvenir. Regardless, and more to the point, “head injury” is a leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. Riders who don’t wear helmets and who experience a crash are 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury. OK, so you can reduce your chances of getting killed with a helmet, but you cannot eliminate it. Plenty of riders get killed while wearing helmets, too. Many crashes are so severe that getting killed was unavoidable. Having said that, or as the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says, “No other piece of safety equipment can make as big a difference as the motorcycle helmet.” (By the way, NHTSA.gov is the source of the statistics in this article).
Numbers can be boring. But keep in mind that these numbers represent real riders, just like you and I. And if you think these numbers are still too abstract, just do an online news search for motorcycle fatalities right now and see who got killed in a motorcycle crash today.
Anyway, wishing you safe riding.