The number of people riding motorcycles has been steadily increasing for the past 10 years, and accordingly the number of motorcycle accident casualties and fatalities has also been rising. Motorcyclists are extremely vulnerable compared to car drivers, and are 16 times more likely to suffer death or serious injury on the roads. There were 6,361 serious personal injury motorcycle accidents in 1999, with 547 motorcyclists killed. The number of motorcycle accident fatalities has risen in recent years, up to 602 to 2002. When are motorcycle accidents most likely to occur? Most motorcycle accidents occur in the spring and summer months, when thousands of fair-weather riders dust off their bikes and take to the roads.
July has the highest motorcycle accident casualty rate, with 2,876 motorcycling casualties in 1999, followed closely by August, June and May. Motorcycle accidents follow the same pattern of occurrence as car accidents with regard to the most likely day and time for them to happen. Friday is the most likely day for a motorcycle accident to occur, probably owing to all motorists driving faster and being careless in an attempt to get home faster. Rush hour poses the greatest risk to motorcyclists, with 7-9 am and 4-6 pm being peaks for motorcycle accidents on weekdays, whereas at weekends there is a more equal spread of motorcycle accidents across the whole day.
Where are motorcycle accidents most likely to occur? London is the place where most motorcycle accidents occur in the UK, with accident records showing it as having the greatest number of motorcycle accident casualties who have suffered serious or fatal injury, as well as the highest number of casualties with slight injuries. In an international study, Eire was found as being by far the most dangerous place for motorcyclists, with 28 fatalities per 10,000 bikers. Motorcycle accidents are most likely to occur in built up areas, which account for around 72% of casualties. However, these accidents are not usually as severe as those which happen on non built up roads, which see 60% of motorcycle accident fatalities.
Single carriageway A - roads are the most dangerous for motorcyclists due to a mix of factors, such as sharp bends, unexpected hazards, and higher speed limits than in built up areas. How do most motorcycle accidents occur? In rural areas, a motorcycle accident is more likely to be the fault of the rider, whereas in built up areas, other road users are more often to blame. For example, London statistics show that 60% of motorcycle accidents were caused by car drivers and pedestrians, whereas Cheshire accident records show that 67% of motorcycle accidents were caused by rider error. When the accident is the fault of the rider, it is often caused by excess speed.
Taking bends too fast causes around 15% of all motorcycle accidents, and the group of bikers who most frequently crash in such a manner are 26-30 year olds on sports bikes, riding for pleasure. Overtaking accidents on rural roads also account for a large proportion of motorcycle accidents where the rider is at fault. When the motorcycle accident is the fault of another driver, the most common reason for it is that the motorcyclist was not seen by person who caused the accident.
These are known as "smidsy" accidents, which stands for "sorry mate, I didn't see you", and a campaign to alert car drivers to smidsy accident blackspots has been running in South Gloucestershire to help reduce this type of accident. Right of way violations that result in a motorcycle accident generally occur at junctions, and over 80% of them are found to be caused by the other road user. Drivers failing to notice motorcyclists, misjudging their speed, and having their view restricted by road furniture are the most common causes of right of way violations.
What to do if injured in a motorcycle accident If you are injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may well be able to make an accident compensation claim. It is best to take advantage of any free legal advice offered by reputable personal injury firms so you can make an informed decision of whether to proceed. http://www.youclaim.co.uk .
By: Alexandra Gubbins http://www.youclaim.co.uk