It's official: four of five biking accidents are caused by other road users

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Published on 20 June 2016 by Robert Drane

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Filed under Category: Campaigning

The commonly held belief - and one favoured by the media - is that the most common motorcycle accident occurs when a motorcyclist fails to negotiate a left-hand bend. However, a study in 2013 proved categorically that other road users are actually the main cause of motorcycle accidents.

Detailed analysis of more than 1,600 motorcycle insurance claims made during July and September 2012, the peak time of the year for claims, found four out of five motorcycle accidents were caused by other road users. None of the cases analysed were caused by loss of control on a bend.

The findings revealed that 81 per cent involved another vehicle, and the main cause of accidents on motorcycles was other road users either changing direction or causing a collision when emerging from a junction. In other words, one of the biggest hazards facing motorcyclists is driver error.

As motorcyclists, we do all we can to protect ourselves whether that is by undertaking IAM and/or ROSPA training or equipping ourselves with the best protective clothing we can afford. We cannot allow any more excuses from drivers using the ‘SMIDSY’ acronym ("Sorry mate, I didn’t see you!"). We need to raise awareness and make it part of the driving test as a first step in the process of highlighting the vulnerability of motorcyclists on our roads.

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Main image author Woodennature, available here under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported licence.