From the Road Safety Charity BRAKE – Motorcyclist stats


Ok, all they had were 2004 stats but it is something.

Motorcyclists themselves are vulnerable road users – but they can also be a danger to other road users. Motorbikes are powerful machines and can kill instantly on collision with lighter objects such as cyclists and people on foot.

In 2004, there were 1,059 pedestrians hit by a motorcycle. Of these:

· 20 were killed, and

· 229 were seriously injured [1]

There were no bikers killed in these collisions. [2]

In the same year, there were 253 collisions involving a pedal cycle and motorcycle. Of these:

· There were 226 pedal cyclist casualties

· One pedal cyclist was killed, and

· 35 pedal cyclists were seriously injured [3]

There were no bikers killed in these collisions. [4]

The fact that there were no bikers killed in any of these incidents shows that regardless of blame, people on foot or bikes come off worse in crashes with motorcycles.

Although motorbikes pose a much lesser risk to people on foot and on bicycles than cars do, the figures above show that they do injure and kill people.

How do motorcyclists put their own lives and others’ at risk on the road?

The types of crash involving motorbikes are often different to those involving cars. Department for Transport research has shown that motorbike crashes are particularly likely to involve loss of control on bends, or overtaking manoeuvres.[5]

Excessive speed is more likely to be a factor in motorcycle crashes than crashes involving any other vehicle.

Exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions are contributory factors for one in eight motorcycles that crash (13%), but are only contributory factors for one in ten cars (10%) and one in 17 trucks (6%) that crash.[6]

The Department for Transport’s report, Vehicle Speeds in Great Britain: 2004, states that:

· 28% of motorcycles travelled at more than 80mph on motorways, compared with 19% of cars

· 21% of motorcycles travelled at more than 80mph on dual carriageways, compared with 14% of cars

· 36% of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit on built-up roads, with 19% travelling faster than 45mph. This compares with 27% of cars which exceeded the speed limit and 10% which travelled faster than 45mph.

· 48% of motorcycles exceeded the speed limit at 30mph sites and 24% travelled at more than 35mph. This compares with 53% of cars which exceeded the speed limit at 30mph sites and 22% which travelled faster than 35mph. [7]

Click here to read the full report.

Loss of control is a contributory factor for one in seven motorcycles that crash (14%), but is only a contributory factor for one in 12 cars (8%) and one in 20 trucks (5%) that crash.[8]

Being a learner or inexperienced rider is a contributory factor for one in ten (9%) motorcycles that crash, but is only a contributory factor for one in 33 (3%) cars and no trucks that crash.[9]

Case studies

Below are several case studies in which either people on foot or on bicycles were killed by a motorbike.

Grandmother killed by motorbike

Christine Seymour, 58, was knocked down by a motorbike while out walking with her husband and two grandsons. Ipswich Crown Court heard that the rider, Christopher Bainbridge, 35, was late for a haircut and was seen racing, weaving in and out of traffic moments before running into the four as they crossed London Road in Ipswich, Suffolk. Christine’s husband Brian lost both legs following the incident and grandson Kieron, six, was badly injured in the crash. A second grandson, Ethan, two, was also hurt. Bainbridge was jailed for three and a half years for causing death by dangerous driving and was banned from driving for three years. [10]

Pedestrian killed by ‘100mph’ biker

A pedestrian was knocked down and killed outside a garage in Glasgow by motorcyclist Mark Craig, 24. Craig, from Bearsden, admitted causing the death of Mr Burns, dangerous driving and speeding on his 900cc bike. A driver who saw the tragedy estimated that the rider was doing 100mph. He was displaying the number plate 2 FAST 4 U. The jury heard that Craig was overtaking on the inside and outside of the road before hitting Mr Burns, 29, who was crossing the road for a taxi. The taxi driver estimated the speed before the crash to be about 60mph. Craig was jailed for five-and-a-half years and banned for 10 years. [11]

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