Between 1996 and 2006, motorcycle fatalities more than doubled in the United States. Motorcyclist deaths have been on the rise even as the number of overall traffic deaths has decreased. Motorcycles simply do not provide enough protection to keep riders safe in the event of a crash. With no airbag, seatbelt, or steel frame to protect them, riders are vulnerable to the elements. Some motorcycles, however, are more dangerous than others. Perhaps the most dangerous type of motorcycle you can buy is a supersport bike.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reports that supersport bike riders are four times more likely to die in an accident than others. Supersport bikes are racing bikes that have been modified for highway use. They are specifically engineered for speed and have more horsepower per pound than most other types of motorcycles. They are light, powerful, and dangerous.
In 2005, supersport motorcycles accounted for 25 percent of all rider deaths despite making up less than 10 percent of registered motorcycles. Approximately 5.7 standard bike riders are killed for every 10,000 registered motorcycles compared to 10.7 per 10,000 registered sport bikes.
There are a couple of reasons why supersport motorcycles are dangerous. Supersport owners tend to ride them as if they are on a racing track when in traffic. These vehicles are capable of great speeds. So, it is tempting for riders to accelerate and push their limits. Speed contributed to only 27 percent of fatal crashes among motorcyclists on cruisers and standards compared to 57 percent of supersport fatal accidents.
Driver behavior is not the only cause of fatal supersport motorcycle accidents. These motorcycles are light, so they often are unable to handle hazardous roadway conditions such as potholes, ice, and uneven surfaces. They are also smaller than most cruising motorcycles. As a result, they can easily be overlooked by negligent motorists.
If you choose to ride a supersport motorcycle, you would be well advised to take riding lessons. Learn about the capabilities of your vehicle and hone your skills so that you can avoid dangerous situations. If you are ever hurt on one of these dangerous vehicles, please do not hesitate to learn about your legal rights and options. An experienced New Jersey motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to help you obtain more information about pursuing your rights.