Are Motorcycles Dangerous? We Try to Answer

We’ve all been through or going through this phase, where we’ve had to listen to our parents’ rant about how unsafe motorcycles are. “Death Machines”, that’s exactly what they call it.

Their Supreme logic is based on physics of the vehicle and the number incidents happening on the road, which technically justifies their concern. However, this perception over the severity of danger can be highly debatable. Hence, we are here to deconstruct the risk factors involved in riding and talk about some ways to avoid becoming another Road Accident Statistic of India.

Certainly, the act of riding a motorbike is a bit more physically and mentally draining task than driving a vehicle on four wheels. You have to constantly gel with the machine, get a feel for your surroundings at all times. Naturally, this requires quite a lot of focus while try to ride on the road, keeping in mind, we live in a country where so many of blatantly ignore traffic rules. This inevitably increases the scope of making errors on road. We can’t deny the fact, when things go wrong on a motorcycle, the consequences are worse than you could imagine.

There is no way we can remove these risks from the equation, there will always be a perceived danger involved with riding. Even in the hands of a well-trained professional, deadly mishaps can occur.

Now the Question is; if the roads in India are dangerous; does that make motorcycles/ two wheelers a dangerous proposition on the Road?

The answer to the question can be looked upon a different light; instead of calling a motorcycle an out an out dangerous machine, should we not focus our attention on a bigger issue “The Dangerous Roads”.

Two important can be agreed upon here, to make the roads safe isn’t it better to train the rider and follow traffic rules. Instead of blaming motorcycles.

Unfortunately, we put the blame game directly on the machine, and ignore pivotal issues on how to make our roads a safe place. To explain our case better;

Let us Share Some Stats

Analyzing statistics provided by the Ministry of Union Road Transport and Highways, we discovered that of all the road accidents that took place in 2017, two-wheelers were the worst hit.

In 2017, more than 48,746 two-wheeler users died in road mishaps. Incidentally, 73.8 per cent of them did not wear a helmet. This means that every hour, four two-wheeler users who died in a road accident did not wear a helmet.

The number of two-wheeler users who died in road accidents was 48,746, which was 33 per cent of the total deaths in road accidents.

The most fatal accidents in 2017 were those of two-wheeler riders accounting for 33 per cent deaths on Indian roads

The death toll mentioned above includes both drivers and passengers. Of the total 35,975 non-helmet two-wheeler users, 58 per cent were drivers while 42 per cent were pillion riders.

While the death toll of two-wheelers riders not wearing a helmet was extremely high, it is also important to note that those who survived faced injuries. In 91 per cent cases of two-wheeler accidents, a non-helmet rider was hurt, i.e., they either died or were grievously injured or faced minor injuries.

All these stats we laid out may seem to be numbers for most of us, but there is an underlying theme in all of this, motorcycles/Two Wheelers are shown like devils, due to the sheer no of accidents they are involved in. All of us look at it from outside and deem motorcycles as death machine, while completely ignoring one fact, the reason which make them dangerous are no proper training and complete ignorance of traffic rules. When you ignore good habits and better riding etiquettes, it doesn’t mater if you have a Two Wheeler or any other sort of vehicle, any machine you have will be considered a death machine.

Whenever you for a ride, there is an element of danger at all times, it’s the way you conduct yourself on the road makes all the difference.

Ways to Conduct yourself on the Road

There will always be risk factors that are beyond our control like bad weather, gravel or sand, potholes, and bad drivers; Conduct yourself Better, Reduce all the Risks

  1. Safety: If you ask for one magical rule to avoid severe accidents, “Always wear a helmet!” The above data is evident enough for this point.

  1. Traffic Rules: We know, as Indians it’s hard for us to follow rules, but for “jagat’s kalyaan” you have to. Also, one should have a traffic sense, as in, when to overtake, which side to use while overtaking, lane splitting etc., are no brainers.

  1. Never twist the throttle with your ego. Always keep a constant and controllable speed on highways.

  1. Keep enough room for you to act in case of emergencies. Riding too close to larger vehicles might not give you enough space.

  1. Check your tires and brakes routinely. Keeping the bike operating properly via regular maintenance is another no-brainer.

The Important Thing is Accepting Our Role

We as riders have a lot of riding disciplines to choose from. Some are safer than other, but ultimately, it comes down to you, whether that discipline gives you safety and makes your experience enjoyable or not. Although riding a motorcycle can be dangerous, it's worth heeding to the fact that it's an activity that can be practiced responsibly, and despite baleful clichés about the possibility of an accident there are a number of riders out there who have never experienced a serious incident. The safety added by proper gear, training, and constant awareness can dramatically improve your enjoyment of the ride, and your chances of getting home without any issues.

In today’s world, almost everything requires some level of risk or danger. Every time we step out our homes, there’s a chance something can go wrong; thousands of accidents occur every year but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying riding a bike, feeling free. We shouldn’t treat our lives like they’re a well-rehearsed play. Yes, motorcycles can be dangerous but can be ridden responsibly and so, be safe, ride hard and ride far.

To Conclude: Motorcycles/Two Wheelers have the same danger level as other Vehicles, it’s up to you how you conduct yourself on the Road which makes all the difference.

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