In January, we brought you part one of our Safety on the Road series: Think Bike, which explored the increased risk to cyclists as an increasing number of people take to their bikes as a cost-effective, healthy and environmentally friendly way to get around. In the first part of the series, we provided our top tips for how to stay safe.
This month we are focusing on motorcycle safety. Although motorcyclists only account for 1% of road traffic, they account for a staggering 19% of road users involved in fatal accidents.
Motorbikes are a popular mode of transport for thousands of people across the UK who get great enjoyment from the sense of adventure riding a motorcycle brings, alongside the financial and environmental benefits.
However, motorcyclists are amongst the most vulnerable road users, as in comparison to cyclists, motorcyclists travel at the same high speeds as cars, yet without any of the protective features, a car offers such as seat belts and airbags. As such, it means that if you’re involved in a road traffic accident on a motorcycle, you’re at considerably more risk of serious injury.
In this blog, we’ll explore the steps that motorcyclists can take to stay safe on the roads, as well as the steps other road users can take to play their part in making the roads safer for those who are most vulnerable.
Safety Tips for Motorcyclists
- Suit up – the notorious motorcycle leathers are there not just to look stylish, but to protect riders as they can help to prevent serious injury. A DOT-approved helmet is also crucial.
- Ride defensively by always staying as visible as possible. Make sure you avoid drivers’ blind spots, drive with your headlights on even during the day and wear high visibility clothing.
- Look out for hazards on the road such as potholes so you can take the appropriate action to avoid these.
- Avoid cycling in poor weather conditions these can seriously compromise your ride.
- Obey traffic rules and speed limits, and always make sure to use your turn signals and hand signals.
- Stay focused, as any lapses in concentration could have serious consequences. Likewise, make sure you aren’t driving impaired.
Safety Tips for Drivers
- Look – failure to look is one of the top reasons for road traffic accidents between cars and motorcycles.
- Pay particular attention to junctions and roundabouts.
- Take extra care to check for motorcyclists when changing lanes, as a motorcycle may be in the space you’re moving into or be fast approaching it.
- Leave plenty of space when overtaking a motorcyclist, as much space you would leave a car if not more, as motorcyclists often need to move suddenly to avoid dangers on the road such as potholes.
- Be aware of Advanced Stop Lines. These allow increased visibility for vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists. You must stop at the first white line if the traffic light is amber or red and when the green light shows, allow the road user time and space to set off
- The lower your speed, the less risk you are to a motorcyclist. As motorcyclists are more sensitive to changes on the road and can manoeuvre much quicker, if you’re behind or passing a motorcyclist, be sure to do so slowly and carefully.
If you do find yourself injured due to a motorcycle accident, you may be due compensation if the accident was caused by the actions of another road user, if the road was in poor condition, or if your injury was due to an equipment failure.
If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and you would like more information, please feel free to get in touch with one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.