Motorcyclists have a much higher chance having an accident than car drivers. Analysis by Brake, the road safety charity, has found that, on average, those on two wheels face 63 times higher risk of being killed or seriously injured on British roads, per mile travelled, than car drivers.
Cyclists and motorcyclists account for almost four in 10 of all deaths and serious injuries on British roads, a total of 9,740 in 2017 or an average of one bike death or serious injury every hour.
Bike deaths also make up more than a quarter of all British road deaths, with a total of 101 cyclist deaths and 349 motorcyclist deaths in 2017.
A survey of more than 1,000 drivers, commissioned by Brake found most drivers (52%) feel that bike riders are most vulnerable on urban roads. Department for Transport statistics, however, show that rural roads pose more than three times the risk of a fatal crash for both cyclists and motorcyclists, compared with urban roads.
According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), approximately 20% of motorcycle accidents are caused by the rider losing control, without any other road user being involved. These collisions were often associated with rider error, occurred on rural roads, and were linked to excessive speed, alcohol, other impairments and reckless or careless behaviour.
Failure to negotiate bends are one of the most common causes of motorcycle accidents with driver error often to blame. Collisions at junctions, overtaking and excessive speed can also be attributed to the driver.
However, there are cases where the motorcyclist is not to blame. Uneven roads surfaces including potholes can cause a hazard for riders.
Tractors in rural areas can leave excess mud or spillages on roads, lorries spilling diesel or ice which has formed for example from water coming from a burst pipe can be dangerous and cause motorcycle accidents.
Other motorists often fail to see motorcyclists, pulling out into the path of a rider, which can lead to some of the more serious incidents.
Most motorcycle fatalities occur on rural roads with more than two thirds taking place here rather than in urban areas. Accidents on urban roads are more likely to result in serious or slight injuries.
Even if protective clothing and helmets are worn, the injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident can be severe.
Common injuries include:
Limb damage resulting in amputation
Head or brain injury
Back or spinal cord damage
What to do after an accident
It is vital that anyone involved in a motorcycle accident receives medical treatment regardless of how minor the injuries appear. Receiving immediate medical attention could not only prevent loss of life but could limit the damage sustained in the accident.
Ask anyone who witnessed the accident for their contact details and a description of what they saw. Do this as soon as possible. Some people often do not make a claim if initially they believe they have suffered a minor injury, if it later transpires that the injury is more serious and then decide to claim, those who witnessed the accident may no longer be contactable.
In the days and weeks following the accident, record any out of pocket expenses and keep documentation in support of any losses that you have incurred because of the accident. These could include travel receipts for medical appointments, medication or pay slips. If you need someone to look after you, keep a record of what they do for you and how long it takes them, as if you go on to make a compensation claim, you can include the reasonable care and assistance they provide to you. Keep a diary of your recovery and any appointments you attend.
Contact a solicitor who specialises in personal injury. Your solicitor will work with you and advise on the evidence required to pursue a claim. Your solicitor will also liaise with the insurance company and arrange for you to be medically examined by an independent medical expert who will prepare a report for the court. They will also advise you regarding any motorcycle repairs or valuation.