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What is the real risk of riding a motorcycle?

People pick motorcycles for different reasons. For some, it's just a hobby. For others, it's an affordable means of transportation. For others, it's a way to reduce their environmental impact by burning less fuel.

motorcycle accident.jpg

However, there are some real risks if you decide to ride a motorcycle instead of driving a car. For one thing, the crash rate is higher. The raw stats show that motorcycles crash less than cars -- in 2010, for example, there were 4,309 motorcycle accidents and 22,263 car accidents. Those numbers are a bit skewed, though, because most people don't use motorcycles and there are vastly more cars on the road.

To get the real stats, look at the amount of accidents for every 100 million miles driven. This evens things out and shows the relative frequency of the accidents, accounting for the difference in use. For every 100 million miles on a motorcycle, there are 35 accidents. For every 100 million miles in a car, there are just 1.7.

In the accidents that do happen, it's also clear that injury and death are more likely on a motorcycle. The percentage of accidents that resulted in either one was just about 20 for cars in 2010, but it was 80 percent for motorcycles. So, not only is a motorcycle rider statistically more likely to crash, but that accident is vastly more likely to have dire consequences.

If you've been hurt in a motorcycle accident caused by another driver -- such as a driver in a car who didn't see you and merged into your lane -- you may be entitled to compensation. With the likelihood of injury, it's crucial to know how to get what you're owed.

Source: Visually, "How Dangerous are Motorcycles, Really?," accessed Nov. 08, 2016

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