A Motorcycle Safety and Transport Policy Framework
What are the causes of collisions?
Two of the main contributory factors of incidents by both riders and drivers are:
- Not paying attention
- Not having enough time and space to react in a way that avoids a crash
The BikeSafe curriculum is based around a number of factors. These factors are based on a combination of STATS19 factors plus other research such as the DfT’s In Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents (2004) and are:
- Driver error at junctions – caused when a driver ‘looked but failed to see’
- Rider error on bends
- During overtakes/filtering caused by speed or inexperience
- Group riding
- Lack of anticipation / poor speed choice
When are incidents most likely to happen?
People are more likely to be involved in an incident at the weekend. An incident is more likely to happen on a Sunday than a Saturday. Incidents are more likely to occur in the winter than the summer.
Where are incidents most likely to happen?
- Junctions – urban and rural areas. In urban areas there are many obstructions and distractions. It is common for a car to pull out of a side-turn while the rider has right-of-way. On rural roads where higher speeds are allowed there is less time to see another vehicle approach.
- Bends – The most common crash-site when no other road user is involved, either because of a slippery surface or going into a bend too quickly.
- Overtakes – Either when filtering in heavy urban traffic or when overtaking a line of slow-moving traffic on the open road.
People in their first year of riding are more at risk, but there is plenty a beginner can do to improve their skills and become more proficient out on the road. All riders can develop their skills and learn new techniques that will make them safer on the roads.
In both rural and urban areas, motorcycle casualties are caused by a variety of factors which revolve around engineering and planning, coupled with behaviour, skills and attitudes among motorcyclists and other road users. Compared to car users, motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable mainly due to the relative exposure to the external environment.
Motorcyclists are also increasingly vulnerable in the urban environment compared to cyclists. This is in part due to the high consideration and support given to cyclists in transport plans, with accompanying social acceptability, and special measures such as access to priority areas which helps to reduce cyclists’ vulnerability.
Action should therefore be taken which addresses the following key factors:
- Rider behaviour
- Rider skills
- Rider attitudes
- Rider and driver training
- Driver behaviour
- Driver skills
- Driver attitudes
- Traffic engineering and design
- Transport planning as it relates to vulnerable users
- Training infrastructure, particularly post-test
- Attitudes to motorcycling among non-motorcyclists
- Attitudes to motorcycling among transport experts, planners and road safety officers
- Levelling the policy playing field between bicycles and motorcycles in areas of shared vulnerability.