They’re both fast, powerful, and agile, but which of the two is more dangerous?
Statistically, a motorcycle is dramatically more dangerous than a jet ski. This is mainly due to the fact that they’re much more commonplace and ridden for longer and in busier or more opportunistic circumstances. There are over one hundred times more fatalities a year on motorcycles than jet skis.
Read on to learn more about the comparisons between jet skis and motorcycles, and which is truly the more dangerous machine.
Land Or Sea
When it comes to debating which is the more dangerous out of a motorcycle or jet ski, there are many factors to take into account. First, there’s the obvious fact that motorcycles are much more commonplace than jet skis.
While there are millions of jet skis across the United States, there are likely ten times more motorcycles. They’re an everyday mode of transport, while a jet ski is more of an entertainment item.
This immediately drives up the statistics and makes the motorcycle the more dangerous mode of transport. While there are reportedly forty to fifty fatalities a year from jet ski accidents, this number is multiplied by one hundred where motorcycles are concerned.
Also, you need to consider where these vehicles are driven. While a jet ski is taken out over the oceans, rivers, and lakes of the world, motorcycles are piloted on busy, high-speed roads.
If you fall off a jet ski, you’ll land in the water, often cushioning the fall with… Well, water. However, if you fall off a motorcycle, the only thing protecting you is what you’re wearing at that moment.
There are also many more opportunities for a third-party to be involved with a motorcycle crash. These often intensely powerful machines buzz past hundreds – if not thousands – of other road users as they make their way around town.
In some cases, a jet ski will be the only vehicle on the water, especially if it’s a lake. There’s nothing else to crash into except for the shoreline, which coincidentally is one of the leading sources of accidents on jet skis.
When it comes to the build of each vehicle, they’re both susceptible to certain occurrences. For instance, they’re both driven by fuel and internal combustion, which can ignite or explode given the right circumstances.
They both have intake and exhaust systems that can present potentially deadly faults, and they both have sources of electricity. These are all potential risk factors for any rider sitting atop either a jet ski or a motorcycle.
However, it’s worth pointing out that while you don’t necessarily need a license to ride a jet ski, you almost always need one to ride a motorcycle. In many countries, you’ll need to undertake a test with an accredited body before you can get on the road.
Where jet skis are concerned, you can often saunter up to any rental station in any tourist trap on Earth, and hire out a jet ski. You’ll just need to sign a waiver, put on some precautionary equipment, and you’re on the ocean waves.
For a motorcycle, it’s said you should ‘dress for the slide’, opting for helmets, armor-plated jackets, heavy boots, and reinforced gloves at the least. As we’ve said, if you fall off that motorcycle, all that’s between your skin and the asphalt is what you’re wearing.
There’s also the financial impact to consider, should you crash or damage your vehicle. If you ride a jet ski up onto the shore, you might crack, gouge, or scratch the hull.
However, if you ride a motorcycle into the side of a car, you’ll likely total your machine, will need to pay legal fees, hospital fees, and will almost certainly be gravely injured. We’re not saying that isn’t the case with a jet ski accident, but motorcycle accidents are statistically more impactful and fatal.
While there isn’t a huge difference between the cost of a motorcycle and a jet ski, the former does win out considerably in the high-end models. For example, a Harley Davidson CVO Limited can cost around forty-five thousand dollars brand new.
By comparison, the top-end of the jet ski market peters out at around twenty-thousand dollars. While it’s a considerable investment, wrecking a jet ski doesn’t have anywhere near the impact that wrecking a motorcycle does.
The former is for messing around on the open water, but the latter is likely someone’s sole means of travel.