Motorcycles More Dangerous Than Cars

By: Jemma

These figures are courtesy of yesinsurance.co.uk, who said that over the past 25 years the fatality rates of all other types of transport have dropped considerably, the risk of riding a motorcycle has maintained its dangerous fatality rate.

In 2006 6,484 motorcycle users were killed or seriously injured according to the Department for Transport, this is in comparison to 14,254 car users. Motorcyclists are 51 times more likely to be killed than car drivers, this figure is considered per mile travelled, they are also twice as likely as pedal cyclists, the next most vulnerable group.

Paul Purdy of yesinsurance.co.uk said: "The rising cost of fuel and the exemption of motorcycles from the London congestion charge have been two of the factors encouraging car drivers to switch to motorcycles.

"This has implications for other cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, where the introduction of a congestion charging system could lead to a rise in road casualties. Deaths and serious injuries of motorcyclists in their forties have almost doubled over the past ten years, whilst figures for those in their twenties and early thirties have declined."

He added: "Whilst we support the move to encourage car drivers to use other forms of transport in city areas, as an insurer we are acutely aware that the risk factor for motorcycles is over 50 times higher than it is for cars, as far as deaths and serious injuries are concerned."

There is a prevalent trend for relatively inexperienced middle aged men to switch from cars to powerful motorbikes, this is something that is contributing to the rising number of accidents. The sheer number of accidents are pushing up bike insurance prices for all motorcyclists.

Motorcycle traffic has increased by 37% over the 10 years leading to 2006, this is according to Department of Transport figures. Paul Purdy recommended: "Wherever possible, we encourage drivers to turn to public transport rather than motorcycles when avoiding the congestion charge."

Motorbikes are often seen as a dangerous form of transport, and it seems from these figures that the assumptions are correct.

Although it could be the sheer vulnerability of the motorcyclist if an accident should occur, the injury and fatality levels are higher, but unlike a car passenger there is no metal shell protecting you on a motorbike. With a car you have a metal frame work that will take the brunt of the impact in an accident, you are also surrounded by safety features such as seatbelts and airbags which minimise injuries. On a motorcycle the only protection you have is a helmet and leathers.

Motorcycles are also harder than cars to see on the road, a car can clearly see another car approaching but it can often be hard to see motorcycles approaching, especially if they are driving to one side of a car.

It is said that two thirds of motorcycle accidents are attributed to speeding, braking or manoeuvres on the UK's roads. The two main reasons behind motorcycle accidents are collisions with fixed objects and negotiating around corners and sharp bends. Corners and sharp bends can be fatal to motorcycle users if not taken safely, bad weather conditions can also contribute to accidents, as can deteriorating road surfaces.

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