While motorcycles are clearly not quite as safe as cars, every study I've seen found that the vast, vast majority of motorcycle accidents involved at least one of the following:
- untrained rider
- failure to use safety equipment
My conclusion is that a properly trained and equipped motorcyclist who stays 100% sober while riding is pretty safe. My 15 years of riding on the streets has borne that out -- I've had a few close calls due to insane drivers, but keeping up with safety training has given me the skills to deal. Without having taken the safety classes, no question I would have had multiple crashes.
In driver's ed they also told me that since they're smaller and drivers are used to looking for cars, drivers often don't see/notice motorcycles. There's nothing you can do about the fact that other drivers suck.
The real issue is that even if you only get in as many accidents on your motorcycle as you would have in your car (which is probably nonzero, even if you're a great driver--other drivers suck, remember), each one is way more likely to kill you or cause serious injury when you're not surrounded by a ton of steel.
The visibility problem is one of the first things they mention in any safety training. You definitely don't belong on a motorcycle if you don't understand that & don't have the skills to deal -- it's not for everyone.
Disagree. I rode one for 10 years. I fit your criteria perfectly. It's only a matter of time before some driver does something that you can't anticipate. I had 3-4 very close calls in the time I rode. I stopped because people I knew had had accidents of varying seriousness. My driver's ed teacher in high school walked with a pronounced limp due to a motorcycle accident.
My father, stepfather and uncle were all motorcyclists and they all told me that long time motorcyclists, almost without exception, are eventually in some kind of serious accident.
My stepfather (rode for 50 yrs) drove off a cliff and landed in a tree. My uncle was hit by a cyclist going through a red light and broke many bones in his hand (the cyclist's arm was severed!) My mother, a scooter driver, got her front tire trapped in streetcar tracks in the middle of traffic.