Motorcycle safety can be boring to some riders but it is all about more riding enjoyment.
You may, or may not, define that enjoyment as freedom, relaxation, exhilaration, or perhaps simply as “undefinable.”
But what about the risks of motorcycle riding?
The fact is, you can get hurt or killed riding a motorcycle.
According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, nearly 80% of reported motorcycle crashes result in injury or death, as compared to 20% for automobiles. Stated differently, you are 400% more likely to get hurt or killed if you crash on a motorcycle, as compared to a car.
COULD IT HAPPEN TO YOU?
If YOU were to become involved in a motorcycle mishap, would you rather be wearing a helmet, jacket, gloves, pants and boots, or merely being protected by a t-shirt, sunglasses and boots?
Before you click away, realize this is no rant against motorcyclists of any kind.
There is no intention to be judgemental here. I am a long-time lover of motorcycles and motorcycle riding and I respect the tremendous diversity of motorcycle viewpoints that accompany the vast variety of motorcycle segments and sub-segments that encompass our global riding community.
As a youngster, I sometimes rode around without safety gear and loved it.
Having survived two serious motorcycle wrecks in my life, I do not pretend the risks are not real. In each case, both my bikes were declared “totaled” by the insurance companies.
Even though I can directly attribute my survival to good motorcycle gear, I am also aware that there is no substitute for rider skill.
Having said that, even the best and most experienced riders respect that they “could” go down. DO YOU?
For example, let us not forget the beloved Larry Grodsky, who was widely regarded as a leading motorcycle safety expert in the United States. Larry taught thousands of riders to better handle themselves on their bikes by way of his Pittsburgh-based company, Stayin’ Safe Motorcycle Training.
He was also a motorcycle safety columnist writing “Stayin’ Safe” for Rider Magazine since 1988.
He died on April 8, 2006, while riding his bike through Fort Stockton, Texas, on his way home to Pennsylvania from a Motorcycle Safety Conference outside of Los Angeles.
Larry collided with a deer at night and left a tremendous hole in the motorcycle riding community by his departure.
Poignantly in retrospect, he remarked a few weeks earlier, “That’s how I’m going to go, it’s going to be a deer.”
Indeed, the deer population and roadways are a dangerous threat to all motorists, just more so for motorcyclists who are not ensconced in a protective metal cage.
THE POINT IS…
Motorcycle-specific riding apparel, including helmets, jackets, pants, boots and gloves can be what determines an outcome as either merely inconvenient or terribly tragic.
Even so, the best gear and the most experience cannot prevent a mishap or a tragedy.
So should one just hope to never crash?