Motorcycles and ATVs are fun to ride off-road. Feeling the wind as you fly through the air is as close to true freedom as many of us come. But it can also be a dangerous pastime. So which are riskier, motorcycles or ATVs? The answer might surprise you.
The dangers of motorcycles
It’s no secret that riding a motorcycle comes with inherent risk. Driving any vehicle can be dangerous, but a sedan, truck, or SUV surrounds you with metal. Though this doesn’t mean you can walk away from an accident without a scratch, the metal protects you.
On a motorcycle, you don’t have a structure to keep you safe. Good riding habits can greatly increase your safety, such as wearing a helmet, riding in groups, and easing off the pedal in turns. Though everyone who rides a motorcycle isn’t doomed to wreck, it’s wise to take some precautions while riding.
That said, motorcycle wrecks can be fatal, and deaths are on the rise. Most riders know this before getting their first bike, so it’s a risk they knowingly take.
Are 4-wheelers safer than 2 wheels?
Four wheels are clearly safer than two wheels. Everyone knows this.
Except that’s not quite the case. Studies from Johns Hopkins show that four wheels are not superior to two, regardless of what good old-fashioned common sense says. The study shows that riders who crashed an ATV were 50 percent likelier to die from their injuries than a motorcycle rider in a similar crash. Further statistics show that 55 percent of ATV riders were likelier to be admitted to an intensive-care unit than motorcycle riders, and 42 percent more would be placed on a ventilator.
It’s unclear why ATVs do so much more damage than motorcycles. It could have something to do with the fact that ATVs weigh much more than motorcycles, which increases the risk when you’re performing jumps. An ATV that flips and lands on the rider will do far more damage than the same accident with a motorcycle.
Dr. Adil Haider, a surgeon from the Johns Hopkins Center for Surgery Trials and Outcomes Research in Baltimore, Maryland, told Reuters: “We think there are much more energy transfers when an ATV turns over, but we can’t tell whether that is because of the stability of the vehicle or the weight of the vehicle as it rolls over on a rider.”
Before buying a new off-road motorcycle or ATV, do your research. Not all brands are created equal, and some put more emphasis on safety than others. It’s also important to get a vehicle for the right age and weight requirements. Taking a class will also give you tips on how to stay safe while having a great time.
ATVs are great off-roaders
Not everyone wants to ride a motorcycle on the open highways. Some people want to hit some open dunes. Off-road bikes can handle this just fine, but all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, seem like the safer option. They’re bigger, wider, and offer more of a seat. Plus, they’re fun to ride.
ATVs have become increasingly popular in the off-road community and are used for racing, stunts, and having a good time with family and friends. It’s easier to go places that most traditional vehicles can’t go, and it saves you from having to hike unless that’s just something you want to do.
However, ATVs are dangerous, even riskier than their two-wheeled brethren.