In Motorcycle Insurance parts one and two, we discussed the basic coverages available for protecting against losses to the motorcycle and protecting motorcycle operators against loss they may cause to others.
Motorcyclists make up a small fraction of the vehicles that occupy our roadways and, due to weather conditions and changes of seasons, the number of cycles in operation changes drastically throughout the year. Motorcycles, like all other vehicles, are frequently involved in traffic accidents.
Unfortunately, since motorcycles are smaller than all other types of motorized vehicles and as users are exposed, rather than enclosed; the consequences of motorcycle losses are severe. Compared to accidents involving enclosed, four-wheeled (or greater) vehicles:
- motorcycles are usually totaled (cost to repair exceeds value of cycle) in a far higher percentage of incidents
- motorcycle riders and passengers are far more likely to be killed
- motorcyclists are more vulnerable to loss caused by distractions
- a higher percentage of fatal accidents involve drivers at extremes (young, inexperienced operators and senior drivers who may have deteriorated driving skills)
- Poor driving conditions (darkness, snow, ice, rain, fog) have a greater adverse impact on motorcyclists
- motorcyclists are more prone to speeding, increasing the likelihood of a crash occurring as well as substantially increasing the chance of a fatal result
Unfortunately, national statistics indicate that helmet wear is declining, even though most states have mandatory helmet laws. While drinking and driving is never a good idea, it is even a more serious problem with motorcycle operation. A higher percentage of fatal cycle accidents involve alcohol use.
While insurance protection is important; motorcyclists are best served by having a mindset to minimize or avoid motorcycle accidents.