Why New Motorcycle Riders Shouldn't Speed
Motorcycle riders are particularly vulnerable to accidents due to the lack of protection provided by their vehicles. While motorcycles only account for a small percentage of vehicles on the road, they account for a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities. One of the major contributing factors to these accidents is speeding.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding was a contributing factor in 33% of fatal motorcycle crashes in 2019. Additionally, the NHTSA found that motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were more likely to have been speeding than drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes. In fact, in 2019, 49% of motorcyclists between ages 21-24 involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 22% of passenger vehicle drivers. The NHTSA also reports that in 2019, 28% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were operating their motorcycles with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the legal limit.
Speeding on motorcycles can have a number of dangerous consequences:
- Reduced reaction time: High speeds make it difficult for riders to react to unexpected road hazards or other vehicles on the road. This means that motorcyclists may not be able to avoid obstacles or other hazards in the road, increasing the risk of a crash.
- Increased risk of losing control: Motorcycles traveling at high speeds have a greater risk of losing control and crashing, which can result in serious injuries or death. The impact of a high-speed crash can cause significant damage to both the rider and the motorcycle.
- Increased stopping distance: Speeding increases the distance required to stop, which can lead to rear-end collisions or other accidents. This means that if a motorcyclist is traveling too fast, they may not be able to stop in time to avoid a collision.
- Reduced effectiveness of safety equipment: Speeding also reduces the effectiveness of safety equipment, such as helmets and protective clothing, increasing the risk of injury in the event of an accident. Even if a rider is wearing protective gear, high speeds can increase the severity of injuries sustained in a crash.
- Aggressive driving: Speeding on motorcycles is often accompanied by reckless or aggressive driving behaviors, such as weaving in and out of traffic or passing on the shoulder, which can put other drivers at risk as well. This can lead to multiple vehicle accidents, putting all parties involved at risk.
In conclusion, speeding is a major contributing factor to motorcycle accidents and fatalities. Motorcyclists should always obey posted speed limits and adjust their speed according to road and weather conditions. Additionally, riders should be aware of their surroundings and be prepared to react to unexpected situations on the road. By practicing safe riding habits and being aware of the dangers of speeding, motorcyclists can reduce their risk of accidents and injuries. Ride safe, Ride SMART!