Motorcycle Dangers

Motorcycling is becoming an increasingly popular mode of transportation for both business and leisure. However, with an increase in motorcycle use comes an increase in motorcycle accidents. Motorcycle dangers that may lead to accidents can include road and weather conditions as well as actions and behaviors of other drivers and motorcyclists themselves. It is crucial that riders practice motorcycle safety to protect themselves from motorcycle dangers.

Other Drivers

Other drivers account for a large portion of motorcycle dangers. Data suggests that about 75 percent of all motorcycle crashes involve collision with a passenger vehicle such as a car or truck. A number of these collisions occur due to the failure of the other driver to see or heed to the motorcyclist, especially at intersections. When on the road, motorcyclists should assume that other drivers cannot see them. When taking steps to ensure their own visibility, riders can actively avoid motorcycle dangers caused by visibility.

Road and Weather Conditions

Unfavorable or unexpected road and weather conditions may present drivers with motorcycle dangers. When these conditions occur, motorcyclists are encouraged to drive slowly and more cautiously than usual. By cautiously approaching these motorcycle dangers, motorcyclists may be able to avoid preventable accidents.

Motorcycle dangers on the road may include:

  • Debris, such as branches, oil spots, gravel, and trash from other drivers or pedestrians
  • Changes in regular routes, which may be due to construction or other vehicle accidents
  • Uneven surfaces such as striated pavement, grated bridges, and railroad tracks
  • Sharp or winding curves that may cause unexpected loss of control

Weather conditions which may present motorcycle dangers include:

  • Strong winds, which may jeopardize a motorcyclist’s balance
  • Rain, hail, or snow, which may obstruct vision and cause roads to become slippery
  • Fog, which may obstruct vision and cause difficulty in deciphering other motorcycle dangers

Motorcyclist Dangers

In addition to external factors, the behaviors or habits riders may pose motorcycle dangers to themselves. Motorcyclists should always obey traffic laws and signals. Impaired driving is a significant motorcycle danger. To avoid drug and alcohol-related motorcycle dangers, riders should always be alert and clear-minded.

Motorcycle dangers from motorcyclists include:

  • Irresponsible driving such as speeding and ignoring traffic signals or other drivers
  • Failing to drive defensively and anticipate the actions of other drivers
  • Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, including certain prescription medications such as pain killers
  • Driving while distracted, such as smoking a cigarette or talking on a cell phone
  • Failing to receive proper training and licensing before going out on the road
  • Failing to wear protective gear such as a helmet, gloves, and thick clothing which covers exposed skin
  • Wearing dark colors, which may decrease visibility in certain areas and at night


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Chang, Richard S. “Motorcycle School: Be Very Afraid.” New York Times 14 Oct. 2007: 1(L). Academic OneFile. Web. 25 July 2013. “Motorcycle Crash-Related Data.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14 Jun 2012. Web. 25 Jul 2013. <>.

“Safety Tips for Motorcycles.” Share the Road Safely. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Web. 25 Jul 2013. <>.