Jill Kolodner | February 24, 2022 | Motorcycle Accidents
Riding a motorcycle in the open air, enjoying the sunshine and the open road, is a tempting hobby for many people. Or maybe you’re tired of sitting in traffic during your morning commute, and a bike seems like a faster way to navigate through traffic.
If you’re considering purchasing a motorcycle or scooter, you may be asking yourself if it’s worth the risks.
The Overall Cost of Owning a Motorcycle
Motorcycles often cost less than a car unless you purchase something custom or top-of-the-line. The price ranges from $5,000 to over $200,000, so there are plenty of options for almost any budget. If you’re not sure if you’ll enjoy riding a motorcycle, you may want to purchase a pre-owned one.
Motorcycles tend to require more routine maintenance than cars, so replacing tires and overall maintenance should be factored into your budget. Tires cost roughly $150–$600 per pair and need to be replaced every 3,000–11,000 miles, depending on your bike model.
You may save on gas prices, though, since motorcycles are more fuel-efficient than cars. Cars average 24 miles per gallon, while a bike averages 40–60 miles per gallon.
Practice Proper Motorcycle Safety
Helmets are one of the most important investments you can make when picking up motorcycle riding. Additionally, Maryland requires motorcycle riders to wear a DOT-certified helmet. Helmets can cost between $100–$1,000.
Maryland also requires riders to wear eye protection, which protects against flying debris that can cause loss of control of the bike or damage to the eyes.
Other riding gear, such as gloves, a jacket, and long pants, can also protect you if you wreck. Even mild road rash after a spill can be extremely painful. Your protective gear might cost about $600–$4,000, depending on what you purchase.
How Much Is Motorcycle Insurance?
Maryland law requires motorcycle drivers to purchase liability insurance to register the bike. The minimum coverage required is $30,000 per person for bodily injury, $60,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $15,000 for property damage. It also requires these minimum limits of uninsured motorist coverage.
Like all vehicle insurance, motorcycle insurance premiums are based on your driving history and demographic, the city you live in, and how often you drive your motorcycle.
Typically, motorcycle insurance is less expensive than car insurance. But injuries from a motorcycle crash can be much more extensive than in a car or a truck, so you may want to carry additional policies such as comprehensive and collision coverage, just in case the other driver’s insurance policy doesn’t cover your injuries.
What Are the Risks of Motorcycle Accidents?
While the overall monetary costs of a bike are less than that of a vehicle, a motorcycle provides much less protection than a vehicle. In fact, the chances of a motorcycle accident being fatal are 30 times more than that of a car accident.
Head-on collisions are among the most common types of motorcycle accidents. These are caused by the driver switching lanes abruptly, left-hand turn accidents, or road hazards. Distracted driving is another leading cause of accidents, including texting and driving, DUI, eating in the car, or simply not paying attention.
Inclement weather and rough road conditions also affect motorcyclists more than cars. Dim lighting and rain or snow can make it harder for drivers to see motorcycles. Or the motorcycle driver may be in a car’s blind spot when a driver doesn’t look closely enough before changing lanes or merging.
Choosing to buy a bike means taking more risks on the road than driving a car or a truck. While motorcycles can be more fuel-efficient and more fun to drive, there’s also a greater risk of injury or death in an accident. Taking a motorcycle safety course and practicing alert, defensive driving can help you reduce your accident risk.