Latest NewsTuesday 04 June 2019
As motorcyclists hit the open road this summer, taking sensible precautions is essential to avoid accidents
As motorcyclists hit the open road this summer, taking sensible precautions is essential to avoid accidents.
Whether your bike of choice is a built-for-cruising Harley Davidson, a funky Suzuki Bandit or a speedy Ducati 1098S, riding a motorbike can be one of the greatest joys of life. And as the days grow warmer and dryer, Britain’s bikers will be out in force, hitting the open road as the sun shines.
When you ask motorcyclists why they ride, you’ll get a variety of answers. Some love to ride for the speed, others the camaraderie, and others say they love the freedom of the open road. But riding a bike also involves a degree of adrenaline which reflects the undeniable element of risk.
Although motorcyclists only account for 1% of total road traffic, they make up 18% of deaths on the road in Great Britain.
Last year, 19,297 motorcyclists were injured in reported road accidents. Of these, 319 were killed and 5,553 seriously injured. Research also shows that many non-fatal injury accidents are not reported to the police. This means that the figures reported are likely to be lower than the actual figure of motorcyclist road casualties.
Along with pedal cyclists and pedestrians, motorcyclists are vulnerable road users because they do not benefit from all the protective features, such as seat belts, airbags and other impact protection measures.
Of the 19,297 motorcyclist casualties in 2018, 91% were male and 32% were aged 17-24, suggesting that those most at risk of being injured in a motorcyclist accident were young males.
Of course, motorcyclists are also more at risk when involved in accidents that are not their fault. In a collision between a motorbike and a badly driven four-wheeled vehicle, the odds are that the cyclist comes off worse than the errant driver.
Motorcycles may be inherently less safe than car drivers, but there are lots of things they can do to avoid accidents and protect themselves. For starters, using the right gear: a properly secured helmet, tight fitting gloves, jacket and closed footwear. Other measures include:
- Checking that your tyres are not bald and that they are properly inflated
- Staying hyper-aware of everything that's going on around you - remember, motorcycles are tough for drivers to see, especially drivers in large cars or SUVs
- Never forget that riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs greatly increases your chances of getting killed
- Don’t speed, ride carefully
- Don’t change lanes unexpectedly, signal other road users before changing course
- Avoid tailgating, always keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front
- Be visible, ride with your lights on
- Always obey traffic lights
- Watch the weather. Because they aren't as stable as cars, riding a bike in the rain is much riskier than driving a car. With only two wheels, you have half the traction of a car. Plus, without windshield wipers, your visibility is compromised.
If you have been involved in an accident on a motorbike that is not your fault, then you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Please contact Swindon Accident Solicitors for a FREE, no obligation assessment of your right to accident compensation on 01793 425595.