60% of Motorcyclists Feel Vulnerable on Urban Roads – Survey

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A Safety Week survey by Devitt Insurance has found that 60% of motorcyclists feel vulnerable on urban roads. And, with the Department for Transport’s annual report stating that the majority of road casualties in 2018 occurred on urban roads (63%) – is it any wonder that motorcyclists feel at risk? Perhaps not, but what is it that makes these road users feel unsafe?

Motorcyclists feel most vulnerable at junctions

The survey has revealed that motorcyclists feel most vulnerable at junctions (40%), which typically have high volumes of traffic in urban centres. Following this, bikers stated they felt at risk in busy traffic (35%) and some felt unsafe driving at night (12%). Perhaps surprisingly, very few motorcyclists reported feeling vulnerable while driving on high-speed roads (5%).

How many motorcyclists suffer accident or injury in the UK?

With these statistics in mind, we wondered how many motorcyclists have experienced an accident or injury while behind the wheel? It turns out that over three quarters of respondents (77%) know someone who has been injured while riding their motorcycle, while nearly half (46%) stated they had been slightly or seriously injured in the past.

The Department for Transport’s figures state that motorcyclist casualties have decreased by 7% between 2017 and 2018. However, the fatality rate and casualty rate among motorcyclists remains higher than any other road user type in the UK. In total, there were 16,818 casualties, of which 6,266 were killed or seriously injured in 2018.

60% of Motorcyclists Feel Vulnerable on Urban Roads city

What are the common causes of motorcycle accidents?

Devitt Insurance’s data revealed that motorcyclists believe road users failing to look properly is the most significant contributor for motorcycle crashes. Respondents also thought that other road users failing to judge another’s path/speed, or driving recklessly, carelessly or in a hurry was also a major contributing factor.

It’s no wonder then, that 61% of motorcyclists feel scared on the road because of the actions of other road users. Brake, the road safety charity, state that motorcyclists are “38 times more likely to die in a crash than drivers or passengers in cars… and need to be aware of the risks”. So what can motorcyclists do to protect themselves?

Safety advice for motorcyclists

Brake offer advice to motorcyclists to help keep them and other safe on the road. This includes things like wearing the right protective gear, including helmets, clothes and boots, staying within speed limits, using defensive riding techniques and travelling in groups.

Further to this, the THINK! campaign by the Department for Transport provide helpful tips to increase safety. For instance, they advise motorcyclists to “take a “lifesaver glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres, so you know where other vehicles are” and to “position yourself in the safest and best place to maximise your visibility of potential hazards”. Check out their website for more information.

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