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Motorcycle Accident Safety - Does Size Really Matter?


Which is safer? A touring bike or a sport bike? This has been a subject for debate since the surge in popularity of high speed sport bikes. Is a rider more likely to be injured on a Harley Sportster 1200 or a Kawasaki Ninja 250? Which tires are safer? Thin or fat? In the world of motorcycle safety does size really matter?

It would make sense to argue that the smaller and lighter sport bike is safer since it is more maneuverable and can accelerate faster, to escape a potentially dangerous situation. If a car swerves into the path of a sport bike, the biker can use those features to avoid a collision. On the other hand, most cruiser or touring bikes produce a louder and throatier sound, compared to the high revving whine of a sport bike, which makes the cruiser more audible, alerting other drivers to their proximity. The cruiser is more likely to maintain its lane and less likely to ride in another vehicle's blind spot. Another fact to consider is that the sport bike, as well as the riders clothing, are generally more brightly colored than that of the cruiser, increasing visibility. Adding up all the facts; it would be apparent that the sport bike would have a slight edge in the overall safety debate. Then why are sports bikes involved in the greatest number of crashes? The reason is speed.

Sport bike riders typically travel at greater speeds than touring or cruiser bike riders. Cruising is defined as driving at a constant speed to maintain maximum efficiency for sustained travel. It portrays a look of being rugged and laid back, a demeanor that befits a Sportster, Gull Wing or Indian. On the contrary, sports bikes offer the thrill of high performance, including exhilarating acceleration, weaving and even one wheel balancing acts, all of which are common and dangerous practices. They are also more likely to operate off road, exposing themselves to unfamiliar hazards. Even though sport bike riders are often clad in better protective gear such as full face helmets, the speed and carelessness, can easily negate the protection provided. When a speeding sport bike loses control, or collides with a left turning vehicle, the driver will be propelled at the same high speed, either airborne or tumbling along the ground, suffering broken bones, internal injury or traumatic brain injury. The cruiser is more likely to be struck by a vehicle than to strike one. To avoid collision the cruiser bike rider may opt to "go down" on his bike suffering burns and scrapes but avoiding serious injury. An option that is only possible at lower speeds.

How Do the Insurance Companies See It?

Insurance companies do not make a distinction between the different styles of motorcycles. It is not the type of motorcycle that is safer than another, it is the operator. If the habits of one careless driver were employed on a different style bike the chances of a crash on that bike would increase despite the different make and model.

In California, it is required by law that all motorcycle owners carry liability insurance to cover and property damage or injuries caused to others. Most motorcyclists in the state are underinsured and have nothing to protect themselves against the underinsured or uninsured driver. While most motorcycle accidents involving another vehicle are the fault of the other vehicle's driver, many drivers are on the road with little or no insurance. While medical bills and loss of income from a motorcycle crash may total in the millions of dollars over a lifetime. many injured cyclists are left with little, because they did not have uninsured/underinsured (aka UIM) coverage. Having the maximum amount of this coverage pays for your injuries and damage to your motorcycle when the other driver can't. It is a wise choice to obtain the maximum insurance you can afford.

The Motorcycle Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motorcycle accident, you need legal assistance. The motorcycle accident attorneys at Vititoe Law Group are here to help you. Even though most motorcycle accidents are the fault of the other driver, insurance companies will do everything in their power to keep any settlement as low as possible. Call today for a free consultation with an attorney who will get you what you truly deserve.

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