Motorcycle Madness: The Stigma Surrounding Bikers

Vincent Vertullo, Reporter

You tell someone you’re a cyclist, no one bats an eye. You tell someone you’re a motorcyclist, the whole world goes crazy. 

Throughout the years when someone brings up the word motorcycles, their first thought likely would be “dangerous” or “immature.” They have every right to think that, but they are not as dangerous as people make it seem to be. The fact that someone is a rider does not mean they are immature.

As a motorcyclist, I can attest that although it may be less safe than a car, there are features and methods that ensure safe riding. While taking the course, the instructor will guide the student through the workings of a motorcycle, how to operate, and safety methods. There are many features to a motorcycle that makes it safe, for example the weight, as well as all the components within the bike, allow it to balance on its own when moving over 5mph. According to, the average motorcycle weighs around is 430 lbs, and that weight is distributed towards the middle of the bike meaning that when in motion, it doesn’t fall over by itself. 

Not all riders are the type to do wheelies over 70mph and bob and weave in between traffic. Unsafe riding is not dictated simply by the ownership of a motorcycle, rather the maturity of the rider. There will always be those that make it bad for the whole bunch, but the majority of riders are relatively mature and smart in their decision making.

 While riding on the road, you have to be aware of what exactly is going around you. Being on a bike has many positives as you can avoid foreseeable accidents better than a car. Unlike a car, one lane has three sections for a bike. The left, center, and the right side have aspects that make them more or less convenient depending on conditions and preferences. The center of the lane is the most slick due to oil or and liquids leaking from cars. The left and right sides have escape routes for the rider in case of an emergency. The smaller build of bikes certainly makes it easier to avoid crashes with a quick swerve. 

There is evidence to show that the main reasons accidents occur are because of: drivers not seeing riders, impairing substances, and inexperience. According to “Motorcycle Safety” most of the time, the reason bikers get into accidents is due to drivers not being able to see riders. The NHTSA suggests that you “Ride in the portion of the lane where it is most likely that you will be seen by other motorists. Avoid the car’s “No Zone” (i.e., blind spot). Use your headlights, day and night.” 

Another factor in motorcycle related accidents is alcohol. Also in accordance with NHTSA – The Anatomy of a Motorcycle Crash, alcohol accounts for approximately 43% of motorcycle related accidents. When either a driver or rider is impaired, there will almost always be tragedy. The NHTSA also states: “A motorcycle requires more skill and coordination to operate than a car. Riding a motorcycle while under the influence of any amount of alcohol significantly decreases an operator’s ability to operate the motorcycle safely.” This could be avoided, or limited with proper training, maturity, and smarter drivers. 

With all of the factors that are listed above, it is clear that motorcycle related stigma is unfair and unjustified. By showing that accidents are mostly caused due to exterior factors and lack of training, I hope to relieve the stigma of motorcyclists being immature and unsafe.