Sunday, April 6, 2008

Some Facts about Motorcycle Use and Accidents

In most Asian countries, motorcycles are economical. Regardless of gender and age, it becomes popular among many who will even testify how so much thrill and fun—so enticing and seductive for them riding on it. For utility purposes, motorcycles served as a handy tool for errands, short distance transport and delivery services. In London, there are firms offering motorcycle taxi and in the Philippines, the trikes or tri-cycle [motorcycle with side car] are popular nationwide as a multipurpose commercial vehicle.

But the motorcycle itself is already a dangerous vehicle as it doesn’t possess rigid and sturdy protective layout and designs against cars and automobiles. Motorcycle riders are always put on the risk taking into account its small size and its fast acceleration rate. Physically, it has only two wheels, where reflexes, balancing and speed, precision and timing are a proportionate factor to be seriously considered by the riders themselves at any given moment while driving. However, motorcycle manufacturers have rendered conspicuous and striking colors; reflective and lighting accessories so it would be easily recognized among and between motorists.

This has become a major concern on the roads especially these days where accidents and deaths have dramatically increased. In United States alone, the number of its citizens killed in motorcycle accidents each year exceeds more than the combined aggregate number of deaths from railway accidents, plane crashes, ships disasters and pipeline explosions.

Motorcyclists are 37 times more likely to die in a crash than someone riding in a passenger car. If collision happened between motorists, the motorcycle riders are the most who are badly injured, if not the ones who is dead. In U.S., NBA players riding in motorcycles will complicate their contract in case they encountered accidents or sustained self-injury.

In the past ten years, motorcycle deaths have increased more than doubled. Registration has increased more than twice and sales have increased four times. So as population increased, everybody must expect that the number of crashes and fatalities will increase as well.

Helmets used by motorcycle riders save lives. An analogy can be drawn to, as seatbelts are for car passengers, so as helmets are for the motorcyclist. Public awareness of implementing helmet law is being rallied around by politicians and lawmakers because it statistically reduced deaths, yet the real scenario showed that it will not prevent road accidents. Motorcycle riders cannot rely on helmets alone as a precaution to their safety. The principal issue about motorcycling is to avoid the crash in the first place. The main question is how could we reduce the accidents and death toll without severely restricting the use of these motorcycles?

Aside from the helmet law, government officials and motorcyclists themselves must be aware that crash prevention can be done through awareness campaigns to the general motoring public. An affordable and appropriate riders’ education must be provided. Shall we say, learn how to be conspicuously recognized, and another is a safety course as an excellent way for both the beginner and the experienced rider to learn defensive riding skills. Not only motorcycle riders but all motorists have to undergo some kind of instructional training and seminar to be sensible enough of motorcycles on the road which have gained widespread and extensive use.

Do you think these will help to lessen accidents among motorcycle riders? Is there any much more relevant measure necessary? Do we need to impose extreme restrictions on motorcycles on the roads?

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