66% of motorcycle casualties occur on urban roads
Whilst not as traffic-intense as the city – ‘urban’ riding is still high risk for novice riders! With more than 66% of all motorcycle casualties occurring on urban roads, statistics support that new riders must be particularly vigilant and this is especially true for the 16-20 age group. 84% of motorcycle casualties involve a collision with a car, where the most common factors are ‘failed to look properly’ and ‘poor turn or manoeuvre’. These incidents most commonly occur at road junctions – with crossroads, staggered junctions and roundabouts being the highest risk, and where accidents are most commonly associated with riders going ‘straight ahead’.
Urban riding conditions can vary dramatically at different times of the day, with the heaviest traffic occurring early-morning, late-afternoon and mid-afternoon (school-run). At these times, car drivers hurry about their business, using ineffective observations and motorcycle riders become increasingly invisible. Poor driver observations are compounded by vehicle blind spots, pedestrian ‘traffic’ and an array of ‘road furniture’ that can obscure a driver’s view. Riders must have their wits about them at all times and should opt for high-visibility motorcycle clothing.
Vulnerability of speed restriction
Riders of 50cc mopeds have the added vulnerability of their speed being restricted to less than 30mph. Virtually all other traffic is capable of higher speeds, with L-plates sometimes viewed as a hindrance to hurried car drivers who want to overtake as quickly as possible. This speed related motorcycle vulnerability can be true for any rider on a machine of less than 125cc.
Because motorcyclists represent just 1% of road traffic, risk is best managed by riders taking responsibility, adopting defensive riding skills and committing to ongoing motorcycle training. Statistics show that this is particularly imperative for young riders, who generally need further training on road position, visibility, deportment and forward planning. Blissful ignorance, blaming other road users or failing to take responsibility are not valid excuses and offer absolutely no protection!
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