The UK has several motorcycle accidents every week of varying seriousness; in fact, the Department of Transport has noted that every week in the UK there are 6 deaths and 93 accidents, that involve motorcycles.
Motorcyclists account for a vulnerable road user group – with other types of cycles including pedal cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders included. This is due to the fact that the rider is not protected by the body of any vehicle like a car user is and are quite hard to see on the road. The highest accident rates for any road user group in the UK belong to motorcycle riders.
Motorcycle Accidents in the UK
By far, men account for the highest proportion of accidents on motorcycles with 84% of all claims being related to male drivers. This high proportional difference in gender is even more pronounced when considering the number of deaths which occur, with 92% of all motorcycle-related deaths being a male victim.
The number of casualties from motorcycle accidents which were killed or seriously injured by age in the UK (2015) is noted in the graph.
There are vast differences between the type of roads and road surfaces across the UK, with rural roads being notoriously worse than urban roads. In terms of motorcycle accidents, the number of accidents which occur on rural roads accounts for 40% of the entire number of accidents, although it accounts for a disproportionate 68% of the deaths which occur relating to the accidents. This means that other aspects than the rider hold accountability in many road accidents, such as the surface and potholes, poor lighting or not being as wide as necessary to accommodate flowing traffic. More info here – https://smithjonessolicitors.co.uk/road-traffic-accidents/.
Worst years for Motorcycle Accidents
Since the inception of having motorcycles on the UK roads in 1927, there has been a marked decrease in the number of accidents which have occurred. The highest recorded annual number of motorcycle accidents took place in 1930 with 1,832 road fatalities. The lowest recorded year since that date was in 2012 with 328 deaths. As far as road injuries are concerned, the worst years since motorcycles were introduced were in the 1980s with up to 20,000 injuries per year in the UK.
The distance which all motorcycle riders undertake on an annual basis in the UK is quite considerable, with the highest years coming in during the 1960s at over 6 billion road miles annually. By 2013, motorcycles accounted for a mere 1% of the total vehicles on the roads, but 19% of the total fatalities. This makes it clear that operating a motorcycle as well as being on a road where one is operated, either as a pedestrian or a driver of another type of vehicle, can be a dangerous occurrence with a fair potential of accidents.
Of the entire volume of accidents, there is a majority which falls in the 25 years old or younger rider range. 33% of all motorcycle accidents fall into riders under the age of 25. The only good news on that front is that riders aged 25 or younger have shown a tendency to choose less powerful motorcycles than their older counterparts. Another spike in accidents occurs for the 41 to 50-year-old age group.
Most of the accidents which occur relating to motorcycles relate to collisions with cars and is one of the reasons why the rate of injuries is so high (there can be multiple passengers in each vehicle).
While there is a tendency for motorcycle riders to wear highly protective equipment such as helmets and leather protective clothing, the number of injuries which occur annually in the UK are quite high nonetheless. It is apparent through the years that safety has become better where motorcycles are concerned, and there are no clear numbers relating to when a motorcycle rider hits the ground and causes injury not involving another vehicle, or when they hit one another. The total number of accidents per year is still quite high and gives rise to the need to be aware of motorcycles whenever you are on the road, whether it be as a driver, passenger or pedestrian, read more.