Safety is a crucial concern when you are buying a motorcycle. Since you have a much higher risk of being injured in a motorcycle accident, the key is to avoid an accident altogether. The type of motorcycle you buy can have an immense bearing on whether you can prevent an accident entirely or reduce your chances of being seriously injured.
Of course, you cannot always control what other drivers on the road do, but you should do everything you can to increase your safety, including purchasing the best type of motorcycle and all the necessary safety equipment.
There Is No Escaping that Motorcycles are Dangerous
In general, all motorcycles have a certain degree of danger, no matter how the manufacturer designed and built the bike. Motorcyclists are almost entirely vulnerable in the event of an accident. If they are in a crash, the crash is almost sure to throw them from their bike, either onto a car or the pavement.
Motorcyclists have a fatality rate of more than 20 times higher than car drivers and their passengers. In addition, motorcyclists will be injured in over 75 percent of crashes, often suffering life-changing effects.
Incremental Safety Measures Can Make a Large Difference
Nonetheless, even a tiny improvement in the bike’s safety can dramatically increase the odds that the motorcyclist will either not be involved in an accident or will suffer less severe injuries. You never quite know what feature will make the difference when you have an accident. They can start with the bike itself. Some motorcycles are better than others when it comes to your goal of reaching your destination more safely.
The Type of Motorcycle You Buy Can Dictate Your Safety
First, you should consider the type of motorcycle that you buy. Here, safety should be your first thought. After all, you want to keep enjoying your bike and not suffer a severe injury in an accident. Motorcycles have different types of designs, depending on what the rider wants. Some focus intently on the experience, enjoy the highest possible performance, and feel that they are getting extra power.
The Most Dangerous Types of Motorcycles
The most dangerous type of motorcycle is a supersport bike. Manufacturers design this type of bike for maximum performance and speed. They have extra power and put the rider in a permanent forward position.
Besides the engineering, one of the significant problems with a supersport bike is that the extra horsepower encourages motorcyclists to take additional risks and go even faster.
Buyers purchase these bikes for a reason, and they have the urge to “let it out.” In addition, these motorcycles will handle poorly in inclement weather (which can include the stiflingly hot days in the Valley).
Superbikes and naked motorcycles are variants of supersport bikes with the same safety risks. Although buyers are free to purchase whatever they want on the market, they should think carefully about these bikes and perhaps avoid them in favor of a safer motorcycle. Not everyone can handle these types of motorcycles.
What to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle
Manufacturers designed other motorcycles to be both sturdier and handle better. While they may not have extra horsepower, riders can still get the whole motorcycle experience with more safety.
Within these classes of motorcycles, buyers should consider:
- Their experience level
- Their comfort on a bike
- What type of motorcycle they can handle the best
- The safety features of each motorcycle
The Comfort of the Motorcycle Impacts Your Safety
In addition, motorcyclists should consider the bike’s comfort and the seating position. If the rider is physically uncomfortable, they are far more likely to make a costly mistake.
In some cases, motorcyclists should be prepared to sacrifice some degree of performance for safety. For example, a cruiser motorcycle puts the rider in a comfortable forwards seated position (hence the name cruiser). However, these motorcycles are not the fastest or most potent because twin engines power them.
The Safest Types of Motorcycles
There are generally three types of motorcycles that are better suited to safety and handling:
- Standard motorcycles – These bikes are as they are named. They are often the choice of newer motorcyclists because of their smaller displacement. Standard motorcycles are focused on comfort with an upright seating position. Beginners opt for standard motorcycles because they are accessible and easier to ride.
- Touring motorcycles – Manufacturers designed these bikes with safety in mind. They are usually the largest motorcycle on the road, and they are better at withstanding a crash. Their size offers protection from the wind and comfortable seating for a long-distance ride.
- Adventure bikes – We call these motorcycles “adventure” not because they encourage dangerous behavior. The adventure is that they can carry bikers long distances. Accordingly, they are designed with safety and comfort in mind and get drivers to their destination.
Your Motorcycle Should Suit You as a Rider
Motorcyclists must also consider their current skill level in deciding which bike to buy. You do not want to have a motorcycle you cannot handle because it is far too advanced for you. Accordingly, you may start with a less expensive and advanced motorcycle while you learn the craft and which bike is better for you.
Some veteran riders may be better at handling more powerful and complex vehicles. If you want a different type of motorcycle once you get better and more experienced, you have that option available. You can always sell your current bike and buy another one.
Consider Individual Safety Features
In addition to the type of motorcycle, the individual safety features are also critical. Here are some safety features you should consider, regardless of your motorcycle.
If the motorcycle you want cannot have these safety features, you may want to consider a different kind.
- Anti-lock brakes – These brakes operate the same way they do in a car. They keep your brakes from locking and your tires from skidding. Statistics show that they reduce the fatality rate in crashes because the motorcyclist has less of a chance of losing control of their bike in a crash. These brakes are often present on larger bikes, such as touring motorcycles. Some motorcyclists do not want these brakes because they may interfere with the bike’s appearance, overlooking their own safety in favor of aesthetics.
- Stability control – These are a form of anti-lock brakes that analyze traction and lean-angle to keep the motorcycle from tipping when it is going through a corner. Braking force can sometimes be too intense, causing the tires to skid. Stability control reduces this braking force.
- Onboard diagnostics – Motorcyclists can get early warnings of everyday things that can cause accidents. For example, you can be alerted when your motorcycle loses tire pressure. Many of the same features available in your car are now beginning to help bikers.
Personal Protective Equipment Also Helps
In addition to safety features on your motorcycle, you should also invest in personal protective equipment to improve your safety in a crash. Even though helmets are not mandatory in Arizona, it is good to have one because they reduce the risk of fatalities.
In addition, purchase airbag vests and jackets to protect you from an impact on the ground. An insurance company will consider the failure to wear a helmet as acting unreasonably and try to tie your injuries to the fact that your head was unprotected. They can do this even when a helmet is not mandatory in the state.
Your driving habits are also critical, even if you have a motorcycle with the most advanced safety features and the latest in protective gear. You still bear the usual risks that any biker carries. Dangerous motorcycle habits and recklessness will put you in the same amount of danger.
You Can Sue the Maker of the Motorcycle if the Bike Itself Fails
Even if you buy a motorcycle that meets all your safety needs and requirements, there is still no guarantee that it will work as you intend. Unfortunately, reports of motorcycles themselves being the problem are far too standard. If your motorcycle caused an accident, you can sue the manufacturer in a product liability lawsuit.
To win your product liability lawsuit, you will need to prove the following:
- The product’s design is unreasonably dangerous, and a safer method is available.
- The product’s design was safe, but something went wrong in the manufacturing process that caused the motorcycle to be unreasonably dangerous.
- The manufacturer did not provide the public with adequate warnings of any dangers that they knew about or should have known about
Here are some ways that the motorcycle itself can be defective:
- The brakes malfunction, and the rider cannot stop in time to avoid a problem
- A bad tire causes the tread to separate from the tire
- A defective frame endangers the motorcyclist in an accident
- The motorcycle can have a faulty fuel system
Every Motorcycle Accident Requires the Help of an Experienced Lawyer
In any motorcycle accident, you should hire an experienced lawyer who knows the specifics of this type of crash. There are some unique features of motorcycle crashes that require an attorney who has handled these cases before. Insurance companies are very skeptical about motorcycle accidents because it is in their financial interests to be that way.
They know that if their policyholder was responsible for the crash, they will need to pay out a large amount of money because motorcycle accident injuries tend to be more severe. Your attorney should be comfortable handling more significant cases because your payout may be more prominent in light of the notable injuries you have suffered.
Insurance Companies Will Always Try to Reduce Your Check
Insurance companies will do anything to make a motorcycle accident the biker’s fault, no matter what their driver did. They take advantage of people’s impression that motorcycles are risky in general and use it to disparage the individual driver. An experienced lawyer will not permit them to get away with it.
However, the rule in motorcycle accidents is the same one in any personal injury case. If someone else was responsible for your accident injuries, they might pay for all your damages. As far as you are concerned, all that matters is that you were reasonably operating your motorcycle.
The same thing is true regardless of the type of motorcycle you own. While buying a safer bike will help you in an accident, your type of bike does not determine whether you can receive financial compensation and how much you get. It is up to your lawyer to stand up for you when the insurance company is trying to blame you for your injuries or unfairly deny your claim.
Motorcycle Accident Victims Have Legal Rights and Options
In any motorcycle accident, you have legal options for obtaining financial compensation. While you can represent yourself in your case, it is almost always a bad idea. Insurance companies will always try their best to pay as little as possible whenever they can.
An experienced motorcycle accident attorney will be familiar with dealing with insurance companies and their tactics. Your lawyer will investigate your crash, gathering the evidence that proves that someone else was responsible. Then, they will advise you about the best way to get the money you deserve. It can involve filing an insurance claim or a lawsuit in court.
Ultimately that decision is yours, but your lawyer will advise you on what they think is the best way to proceed. Either way, they will work tenaciously and aggressively to help you recover total financial compensation for your accident when someone else caused your injuries.