Women Drivers: Female Motorcyclists Have Unique Safety Concerns
There are more female riders on motorcycles than ever—while still a minority, they now represent 14% of the riders out there on the roads. That also means that there are more women involved in motorcycle accidents than ever before. If you're a female rider, learn more about the risks you face and what you should know if you're injured.
Stay safer by driving your own bike.
The days are long gone when the only women you ever saw on motorcycles were passengers clinging onto the back behind their male drivers—and that's probably a good thing for the women. In a 2014 study, 66% of the female motorcyclists killed in crashes were women—and that represented a whopping 93% of all passenger deaths! If you love the feel of the open road, the number one safety consideration you can probably take is to make sure that you drive your own bike instead of being someone's passenger.
Stay off the bike when you're pregnant.
You may know someone who rode until the day she delivered her perfectly healthy baby—but you don't want to take any chances with yours. As soon as you know that you're pregnant, it's a good idea to put the motorcycle away until after you deliver. Even though the majority of women who ride during pregnancy deliver normally, a minor accident that leaves you relatively unscathed can lead to pregnancy complications like abdominal bleeding, uterine rupture, and miscarriage.
Buy safety equipment that is suited to your body.
One size most definitely does not fit all when it comes to safety equipment. Don't borrow your brother's helmet—even just for practice while you're learning to drive—and make sure that your gloves are small enough to fit your hands. Your helmet won't protect you if it's too large to fit your head snugly and your gloves won't keep you from losing your grip on the handlebars if they're sliding off your hands because they're too big.
Make sure that you're watching out for other drivers.
Accidents between cars and motorcycles are frustratingly common, and that's an unfortunate risk you face no matter what your gender. The biggest danger is from drivers who are making a left-hand turn—and if you drive a bike that's smaller or lighter than some of the others on the road in order to accommodate your body frame, you may be at increased risk of falling into some driver's blind spot as he or she changes lanes or takes a sudden left.
Be prepared for potential prejudice.
You may also face an unfortunate prejudice that can exist against both motorcyclists and female drivers. There's a strong sense that police and accident investigators tend to be biased against motorcyclists in general. Given that many people still aren't used to seeing female motorcyclists handling their own vehicles, you may also face some prejudices that unfairly question your road skills based on gender alone.
If you're in an accident, consider talking with a motorcycle accident attorney who is knowledgeable about motorcycle accident claims and their unique problems. That way, you'll get a fair assessment of your case and a good chance at recovering damages.