Motorcyclist Only Road User Group To See Rise In Fatalities


The Law Of... road casualty statistics

Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) have revealed that motorcyclists are the only significant road user group to see an increase in road fatalities from previous years.

Motorcyclists face disproportionate danger on the roads

In 2015, 365 motorcyclists were killed on the road; this represented an 8% increase from the figure in 2014, which sat at 339.

Rose Gibson, Partner in Complex Personal Injury, examines the statistics and explains why motorcyclists face disproportionate danger on the roads.

Increase In Fatalities

Data from the DfT highlighted that:

  • Fatalities for all road users fell 2% from 2014 and 4% from the average amount of deaths from 2010-2014
  • The number of motorcyclists killed on the road has increased by 8% from 2014 and 4% on the average between 2010 and 2014
  • Motorcyclists are the only significant road user group, which includes car occupants, cyclists, and pedestrians, to see an increase in road fatalities since 2014

Despite being the only significant road user group to see an increase in road fatalities, the number of motorcyclists killed on the road in 2015 was still at a historically low level, but the DfT claims that they will have to wait until the figures for 2016 are released to see if the spike in deaths was an anomaly or a wider sign of an increased danger to riders.

Disproportionate Danger

The latest DfT figures have highlighted the disproportionate danger faced by motorcyclists on British roads. The casualty rate per billion passenger miles for riders is 6,676, while fatality rates per billion miles is 122.3 – both of these figures are fair higher than any other road user group.

Similarly, motorcyclists in 2015 accounted for 21% of road fatalities, despite only making up around 1% of total road traffic.

As such, multiple road safety charities and organisations have published safety tips for road users, to ensure that bikers are protected while on the road.

For motorcyclists, it is recommended that they:

  • Drive defensively, this involves backing off and should make riders less vulnerable to accidents
  • Attempt to anticipate the actions of other road users
  • Ride at a speed that allows them to slow down and stop when dangers present themselves
  • Position themselves in the safest place on the road, in order to maximise visibility
  • Wear the correct gear, ensuring that they are both visible and protected if they were to be involved in an accident

Shocking Figures

With riders being at risk of serious, life-changing consequences after an accident, it is so important that all road users make a conscious effort to make the roads safe for motorcyclists.

As an avid fan of motorcycling, Rose understands the mindset of bikers and explains why these figures are so distressing:

"While the amount of fatalities on the road is at a historically low level, it is important that motorcyclists take heed of the fact that there was an increase in the amount of road deaths for bikers last year."

"Even for those that are not killed, the consequences for bikers involved in any kind of collision can be severe, as motorcyclists can suffer head injuries, paralysis, and other severe injuries from an accident."

"Due to the seriousness of road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists, it is advisable to anybody affected by such an incident get in touch with a legal expert, who may be able to help with rehabilitation and recovery, whether you are a rider yourself or are a family member of someone killed or seriously injured in the incident."

"It is so important that all road users follow the advice of organisations like the DfT's THINK! campaign, whose advice could ensure that we do not see another increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2016."

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