Nothing quite matches the excitement of riding a motorcycle. Passenger vehicles don't provide the same feeling of freedom that you get when you ride a two-wheeled masterpiece. Unfortunately, riding a motorcycle also leaves you vulnerable, and it only takes a single accident to forever change your life.
There are more factors to consider than just the physical toll, because an accident will affect everyone you know.
The Tragic Effects of a Motorcycle Accident
If you're injured in an accident, your family will suffer as badly as you do. In a fatal accident, the family actually suffers more, because they lose a beloved relative. In many instances, the rider was also a provider, leaving behind children as well as a spouse.
The federal government estimates that motorcycle riders are 26 times as likely to be involved in fatal accidents as passenger car drivers. More than 3/4 of all motorcycle accidents also involved a passenger vehicle which makes the collision much harder on the rider. Even a rider who collides with a stationary object can suffer life threatening injuries.
While helmets prevent more than 1/3 of all fatal accidents, only 19 states and Washington D.C. currently enforce helmet laws. Wearing a helmet is always a good idea, but the rider is still susceptible to gross bodily harm.
The Physical Toll
Road rash and cuts are the least of your worries when you're involved in a motorcycle collision. Riders regularly experience multiple contusions and compound fractures. You may also suffer from brain damage which which might heal overtime or affect you for life. You also face the threat of internal injuries which may initially go undetected.
A hemorrhage describes a bleeding internal injury, and it can be fatal is someone who seems relatively healthy. These injuries can also lead to missed time from work, which is usually uncompensated by insurance.
The Financial Toll
Not all motorcycle collisions are fatal but most of them result in serious injury. Said injury could cause you to miss time from work, or prevent you from ever returning to work at all. A shattered bone may never heal properly recover, and skilled workers may be rendered disabled.
Social security will pay you a fraction of your former salary, but your entire family needs to adjust to the change in finances. In the event of a fatal accident, the family has to not only adjust to life without you, they must also gather the funds for the funeral.
The average funeral in the US costs more than $7,000 and the insurance money may be insufficient. In more ways than one a motorcycle accident can ruin your family's finances, but the emotional toll may be even heavier.
The Emotional Toll
Unfortunately, a serious injury can rearrange the dynamics of your family even if it isn't fatal. If you strike your head, you could become comatose. The sight of seeing you stricken to a hospital bed might be too much for their emotions to handle.
If you lose the use of your legs (even temporarily) it's going to have a profound effect upon your entire household. Your loved ones won't object to the additional care, but it can be a burden to them.
If you love to ride you should continue to do so. However, you need to be aware of how an accident can affect your loved ones. Always observe safe riding practices, and wear a helmet every time.