As traffic situations worsen in many parts of the world, going from one place to another without any hassle is slowly becoming impossible. This is why motorcycles appeal to many people. With travel time significantly lessened, you are given a chance to be more productive and have more time to pursue other endeavors.
Not only is riding a motorcycle convenient, but it can also be fun and exciting.
But one minor mishap can turn an innocent motorcycle ride into a life-or-death situation. This might make you think, is the loss of limb, or at times even life, worth the convenience and enjoyment of motorcycle riders?
How much does it cost to be in a motorcycle accident?
The cost of being in a motorcycle accident has no fixed amount because each case is different for every victim, and several factors can affect the total cost of your crash. However, one thing is certain: motorcycle accidents are not cheap. You will have to spend tens of thousands to millions of dollars depending on the severity of your accident.
So what are the most common factors that affect the total cost of your motorcycle accident?
• Hospitalization costs
• Pain and suffering damages
• Lost income
• Vehicle damage
According to the NHTSA, hospital bills comprise the majority of motorcycle accident costs. They put treatment for injured motorcycle riders at about $4,569 on average, while only $2,349 for car crash victims. If a severe head injury is involved, the costs will be much higher. This is because serious head injuries can take months or even years to fully heal. In worse cases, they may even lead to long-term, irreversible disabilities.
Pain and suffering damages
When it comes to motorcycle accidents, damages are not only physical and financial. Mental and emotional suffering, while not quantifiable in bills and receipts, can be just as painful and stressful.
The trauma you experience after your accident can be as lasting as the injuries you sustained, and since there is no way to determine how much a person’s pain and suffering cost, these kinds of damages will greatly vary for each victim.
If your body is not spared during the accident, your motorcycle is likely to have sustained severe damage as well. Depending on how bad the accident was, your motorcycle may either need extensive repairs or be completely replaced.
In case you pursue for damages and the market value of your motorcycle is less than the projected repair costs, the liable party may offer to pay the motorcycle’s market value instead of shouldering its repairs.
Severe injuries can make you immobile for a long time after your accident. Even if you fully recover, there is a high possibility that you may not be able to work the same way again. In worse cases, some victims are even left completely disabled without doing anything at all for the rest of their lives.
If the motorcycle accident left you permanently disabled, you could pursue damages to compensate for its impact on your life. While no amount of money could ever make up for your loss of ability to actively enjoy life, being financially compensated for your losses can at least help you in your recovery.
Motorcycle accident statistics
Regardless of whatever mode of transport you use, accidents will always be possible. But accidents involving motorcycles occur more often than any other vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported in 2018 that while motorcycles account for only 3% of registered vehicles in the United States, motorcycle riders make up 14% of road-related deaths.
In another 2018 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, motorcycle riders’ death rate was 27 times more than that of car drivers and passengers. Their statistics also showed that almost 5,000 motorcycle riders across the US were involved in fatal accidents in the same year.
Why protecting your head is important
Head injuries remain the most common type of fatal injury in motorcycle accidents, which is why wearing a helmet is a must whenever you are out riding. They may not always guarantee exemption from accidents, but helmets have been proven to lessen the risks of critical head injuries in motorcycle crashes.
According to the NHTSA, the medical expenses of an injured rider who was not wearing a helmet, which amounts to \$17,404 on average, is 1/3 greater than the hospitalization costs of someone wearing one. They also estimated that in 2017, 1,872 motorcycle riders were saved by helmets, but 749 more could have been spared if only they had been wearing them.
Three basic safety tips when riding a motorcycle
• Do not rush.
The faster you go, the less time you have to see and react to road hazards. Speeding makes it challenging to see an upcoming turn, making you go around the corner too fast. If you panic and hit the brakes too hard, you could fly off the motorcycle. If you ride through the corner despite your speed, you may turn too hard and cause the bike to slide out from under you. Either way will hurt.
To prevent this, avoid traveling at a speed that gives you little time to react to road hazards. An extra second could mean life or death, so make sure you are going at the right speed to give yourself ample time to maneuver around a bend, a gap, or a slippery spot in the road.
• Do not drink and drive.
Alcohol slows your reaction time and impairs judgment, which is why it is one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents. Drinking and driving a car is already dangerous enough as it is, but drinking and riding a motorcycle is even more dangerous because simply keeping the bike steady and upright requires balance and coordination, something that will be difficult to do when you are drunk.
• Check your motorcycle regularly.
Ensuring that your motorcycle is in excellent running condition can help reduce the risk of a crash. Do this by routinely checking the engine, brakes, tires, headlamps, and turn signals before and after every ride.