Are some motorcycles safer than others?

Many drivers in the Worcester area likely checked out the safety ratings of their cars before buying the vehicles. Likewise, those who ride motorcycles are probably also interested in the safety of their machines. After all, a motorcycle rider has much less protection than someone in an enclosed car; while all drivers want to be safe, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable.

Unfortunately, even a simple fender-bender can be extremely dangerous for someone on a motorcycle. A fall from a bike can easily translate into a head injury, multiple broken bones, catastrophic injuries and worse. So, are there certain types of motorcycles that are safer than others? According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the lowest death rates among motorcycles are for touring, sport-touring, standards and cruisers. These are also the most popular types of motorcycles on the roads and are frequently operated by drivers age 40 and over.

One type of bike tends to be overrepresented in fatal motorcycle accidents: so-called "supersport" motorcycles. These bikes tend to be relatively lightweight and can reach high speeds quickly due to their high horsepower. A study from 2010 concluded that the death rate for drivers of these types of bikes was about four times greater than for drivers of standards or cruisers. A third type of motorcycle, the sport bike, is similar to a supersport but typically feature lower ratios of power to weight. The death rate for these types of bikes was about twice as high as that of cruisers and standards.

No matter which type of bike one rides, safety is paramount when on Massachusetts roads. If a negligent driver strikes a motorcycle, the motorcyclist and his or her passenger may be entitled to compensation. Even the safest bikes are no match for a car or a truck; however, accident victims can fight back against negligent or reckless drivers by enlisting the help of a motorcycle accident attorney.

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, "Motorcycles," accessed Sept. 11, 2015