11 things we learned from FEMA’s safety report
In August, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) released a report called Motorcycle Safety and Accidents in Europe. In a summary of numerous FEMA-commissioned surveys from recent years, the paper combines the responses of about 25,000 motorcyclists, detailing the top concerns and realities European motorcyclists face on the road.
Here is what you need to know…
- There are approximately 23 million motorcycles in 31 European countries. Italy has the most with about 6.5 million while Britain is seventh in the standings with 1.1 million.
- One third of European riders own more than one bike.
- Honda is the best-selling manufacturer throughout Europe, followed by BMW, Yamaha and Suzuki.
- Half of all riders use their bikes just for fun with only a third commuting to work on a motorcycle.
- Riders know how to look after their machines – technical faults are very rarely the cause of accidents.
- Great Britain has the second-best quality road surfaces with Demark the best. The worst roads are found in Greece.
- The most common road problems cited by motorcyclists throughout Europe are:
• Poor maintenance (eg. potholes)
• Poor road surface (eg. slippery)
• Markings on the road (eg. signs, lines and warnings).
Riders typically face more risk on roads in Mediterranean countries. This is for many reasons including road maintenance and lack of warning signs regarding dangers or road works.
- Motorcyclists feel that they are not considered enough in new road safety innovations. Riders believe that most technologies are being developed from the perspective of car drivers. Motorcyclists also regard many new technologies as potential new distractions for drivers instead of benefits.
- Riders younger than 35 are most likely to have been in an accident.
- Most riders feel that the process to obtain a full licence is too complicated and expensive. Many motorcyclists feel that the current licensing system is discriminatory in comparison to car licences and aren’t convinced that step-by-step motorcycle licences really benefit safety.
- Scandinavia has the lowest number of motorcycle incidents in Europe – Denmark has the least accidents (and the best road surfaces too). Croatia has the most motorcyclist fatalities and Ireland the second-most. Great Britain is 16th with its average fatalities slightly above the European average. While Poland has very few incidents, they often prove to be fatal.
Read the full report on the FEMA website.