Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - P3t3r

With some people there seems to be the perception that motorcycles are very dangerous, but bicycles aren't. The statistics even seem to suggest that this is true, but it doesn't make much sense to me. I'm considering two wheels for commuting and I percieve a scooter as being safer than a bicycle.

A bicycle tends to be smaller, which makes it harder to see. They are also usually quieter, which makes them hard to hear. They can rarely keep up with traffic which means that other drivers will overtake them and often give them minimal space. Motorcyclists can also have much better safety equipment.

The only significant safety issues I can see with a motorcycle is the weight, and the speed. The speed is controlled by the rider though, and as long as it's not excessive, then there should still be a high safety margin. Also, if you look at light weight scooters/bikes then I suspect the weight shouldn't be too bad with good clothing.

What do others think?

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Avant

I see your point, and I agree that in traffic both are vulnerable, the pedal cyclist more so.

Where the motorcyclist is more in danger is on the open road where speeds are higher and (s)he is inevitable more vulnerable in a skid or collision than a car / lorry, regardless of who is at fault.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - jamie745

Ive never been on a bike in my life and would probably fall off alot so i can only really view it from a drivers perspective but i think the majority of accidents involving cycles or motorbikes is mainly down to the fact somebody in a car didnt see them. Door pillars can hide entire motorbikes these days and if they're riding along on an overcast day dressed in grey they can sometimes be easy to miss. Mopeds not quite so much as you can hear them from a great distance. The fact you cant hear a cyclist plays more of a part in shared space or one way streets and mostly to pedestrians who dont hear them coming.

The main safety issue is no matter how good a rider you are, or how good the motorists are, the fact is that if you are on a bike and you have a crash you are less likely to survive than someone in a car regardless of who's at fault or how good you are, that is the fact. I still think if everyone on a bike had their lights on all the time or even a high vis vest, or even a high vis strip across their jacket on at all times it'd prevent at least half of the accidents because people would see them easily.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - P3t3r

Door pillars can hide entire motorbikes these days and if they're riding along on an overcast day dressed in grey they can sometimes be easy to miss. Mopeds not quite so much as you can hear them from a great distance. The fact you cant hear a cyclist plays more of a part in shared space or one way streets and mostly to pedestrians who dont hear them coming.

As a driver I can fully understand this, but I wonder what the statistics show. A big killer for young car drivers is losing control on a bend and hitting something like a tree. I've just done a search for statistic, and in somewhere America, 25% of deaths didn't invlove another vehicle at all.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - jamie745

Edit: I will post these stats in the general forum as this post wasnt especially bike related.

Edited by jamie745 on 17/09/2011 at 22:08

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - bazza

Lots of different factors: The big problem is being visible to other drivers, especially in poor weather/lighting. Dusk is the worse time to be on either. I ride a motorbike all year and some months ago had a near miss when somebody pulled out on me. I had headlight, bright helmet and clothing on but it was dusk and raining. There were cars behind me with lights on and I concluded that I just literally "vanished" into the glare and dazzle. Being aware that others may not see you is your biggest safety factor and adjusting your speed, road position to suit. Riding something larger than a bike that allows you to dominate your road position prevents you being forced into the kerb, where you don't want to be. Even on a 50cc scooter you need to be in the centre of your lane!

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - jamie745

May i ask though, and i ask as a non-biker, what makes people who are into bikes want to take to the road in the freezing cold and pouring ran on two wheels?

Just curious.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - mss1tw

May i ask though, and i ask as a non-biker, what makes people who are into bikes want to take to the road in the freezing cold and pouring ran on two wheels?

Just curious.

Waterproofs and heated grips! It's fine once you're out there, the thinking about it beforehand is the worst part.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - P3t3r

May i ask though, and i ask as a non-biker, what makes people who are into bikes want to take to the road in the freezing cold and pouring ran on two wheels?

For me it's the buses. Buses are much slower, not reliable, and sometimes unpleasant inside. During the winter, you have to stand at the bus stop in the cold rain, then you get in the bus with your coat and you're too hot.

On a bike you dress for the weather - warm and waterproof gloves, jacket, trousers, and boots. I haven't got a bike yet, so haven't experienced it, but this is the theory anyway.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - jamie745

But in a car you can just hop in, dressed however you want, adjust the climate to your preferance, you can make it like the Sahara in November or like Siberia in July. Wear what you like, no specialist outfits, no helmets to mess your hair up. You dont get wet, you dont get splashed, you dont get that ongoing risk of ending up under a cars front wheel.

Its fantastic, you really should give it a shot!

:)

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Sheepy-by-the-Sea

I'm an outdoor kind of person - I like to experience the seasons, smell the world around me, feel alive. If that means being a bit cold and wet sometimes it's a very small price to pay for that feeling.

In a car I don't get that, I just get up in the morning and arrive at work feeling miserable.

I've been without my own car (wife has one) for nearly seven years now - only in the last couple of winters has it been icy enough to resort to the bus. I usually cycle to work, using the motorbike when it's too windy for my liking (I live on the coast).

On the comparative safety front; I don't think it's really valid to compare, they're two completely different modes of transport used for different kinds of journey. My experience of both cycling and motorcycling is that there's a lot you can do to protect yourself, the main one being to recognise that car drivers look for other cars - if they're not looking for a bike they won't see it, regardless of how much hi-viz you wear. The key is road positioning, moving about in the lane, making sure you CAN be seen (a driver turning right will look for a gap in the traffic - if that gap's occupied by a motorbike hidden behind a van then the bike won't be seen until it's too late).

Personally I feel more vulnerable cycling, because so many drivers have utter contempt for cyclists, or treat us as mere obstacles. Poorly-planned overtakes and turns across my path are the biggest hazards. I follow the rules of the road yet it seems to make no difference.

Edited by Sheepy-by-the-Sea on 09/10/2011 at 08:36

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - aaj

Riding a motorbike is inherently more dangerous than riding a cycle. It's all about speed. Speed makes accidents more likely and more damage is done. People may feel more insecure on a cycle, but it is far, far safer.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - bobh

Inappropriate speed causes accidents, not speed alone. The risks of riding a motorcycle can be reduced though by becoming an advanced rider through the IAM and learning to plan your ride better and know your own and the bikes limitations to the full. On a bicycle you are harder to see than on a motorcycle and in turn harder to see than a car, as some car drivers tend to be looking for other cars alone. Having drove lorries, and still driving a car and riding a motorcycle and bicycle I see this all the time. Unlike a car you dont have the protective cage around you like a car driver has. When on two wheels you have to ride defensively,and progressively. Ride aggresively and you will come a cropper at some point. As for the wet and the cold, good kit, heated grips and a bike with a fairing helps a lot.

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Nancy232

I commute to school every day, and need some advice on choosing between bicycle or motorcycle! I hate driving because I'm paranoid about having my car in an awful neighborhood(north philly), so I usually bike or take the bus(which takes forever). I just bought a 1981 XJ750 seca in pieces with title, and am building it up. My bicycle is worth about as much as my bike build will be, so I need to choose one or the other. I have an 8 month old daughter, so obviously I'm concerned about safety and money. My commute is about 3 miles windy street along a river and 2 miles city street lights. On the bicycle it's 3 miles city and 2 miles long stretch. I get cut off on my bicycle about everyday, and it's led me to believe that a motorcycle would be a bit safer, because even though getting cut off is a huge possibility, I don't have to worry about cars going past me 3 in away. It would also cut my commute in half, while still leaving me with a definite spot when I get to campus.

Edited by Nancy232 on 10/01/2019 at 11:48

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Nancy232

I commute to school every day, and need some advice on choosing between bicycle or motorcycle! I hate driving because I'm paranoid about having my car in an awful neighborhood(north philly), so I usually bike or take the bus(which takes forever). I just bought a 1981 XJ750 seca in pieces with title, and am building it up. My bicycle is worth about as much as my bike build will be, mybkexperience so I need to choose one or the other. I have an 8 month old daughter, so obviously I'm concerned about safety and money. My commute is about 3 miles windy street along a river and 2 miles city street lights. On the bicycle it's 3 miles city and 2 miles long stretch. I get cut off on my bicycle about everyday, and it's led me to believe that a motorcycle would be a bit safer, because even though getting cut off is a huge possibility, I don't have to worry about cars going past me 3 in away. It would also cut my commute in half, while still leaving me with a definite spot when I get to campus.

An excellent suggestion!

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Avant

Hardly surprising, as it's your own.

What are you trying to say?

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - Engineer Andy

Hardly surprising, as it's your own.

What are you trying to say?

Spam, spam, spam, spam (See link on their 'reply')....

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - bluezzr1100

I have crashed on a bicycle on about 5 occasions and I have a lot of scars to show for it. The worst being a 1 foot long crescent shaped scar on my right lower leg when a car hit me head on. He was overtaking and on my side of the road. A policeman late for work in fact in a Mark 2 Vauxhall cavalier. Broken wrist and snapped fibula were the result plus scars to right arm.

I have had 4 motorcycle accidents. 2 were my fault because I was riding like a t*** -result two dislocated fingers and a broken bone in my left hand and dislocated thumb on the second occasion. On the other 2 occasions I was hit from behind and then in front whilst stationary-result on both occasions minor bruising to legs.

I would say motorcycling is safer because the protection is better and you can use power to get out of trouble- I used to ride a bicycle a lot and kept up with the traffic but if you can't it gets very dangerous especially on narrow roads where space is limited

Bicycle vs motorcycle safety - ONMBDM

I think like you say it comes down to speed...

The motorcycle will allow you to reach speeds that the bicycle won't.

If they were both to travel at the same speeds, your points would probably validly mean that the motorbike is safer, however, allow someone the opportunity to go really fast, and...

Yeah, but I used to ride a bicycle every single day, now I ride a motorcycle every single day... I also feel safer on the motorbike, however, I know I'm probably not, due to the higher speeds and therefore more potential force and impact if I go down...

 

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