Are you a die-hard biker who would never dream of giving up the open road for riding “in a cage?” There are millions of people who think the same way, and this is the time to celebrate them. The month of July has been designated Women’s Motorcycle Month to acknowledge and promote the growing trend of female ridership.
Why should women motorcycle riders be celebrated? For one thing, they seem to be far safer when in control of the bike. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) recent motorcycle crash fatality study found that women are more likely to die as bike crash passengers than riders—and that female riders are more likely to attend safety courses and road training than their male counterparts.
Need more proof? The statistics speak for themselves:
- Growing numbers. There are currently over four million women motorcycle riders regularly using U.S. roads. The Motorcycle Industry Council estimates that that 25 percent of all motorcycle riders, and 10 percent of all motorcycle owners, are female. Women riders are on the rise, as female ridership increased 35 percent between 2003 and 2012.
- Formal road training. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, about 30 percent of students in its Basic Rider Courses are women—and not only are women more likely to enroll in hands-on intensive training courses, they are also more likely to complete them.
- Fewer fatalities. The IIHS study found that 94 percent of motorcycle passengers who died as a result of accidents in 2013 were women. However, female riders made up only 39 percent of fatalities in crashes when they were the ones controlling the bike. In comparison, 91 percent of motorcyclists killed in 2013 were males, the vast majority of whom were controlling the bike at the time of the crash.
- Attention to safety. Women seem to have one eye on safety when it comes to choosing two wheels. About half of women motorcycle owners prefer a cruiser-style motorcycle, and 58 percent of women regularly undergo rider safety courses (compared with just 44 percent of men).
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