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Motorcycle accidents - prevention and safety

Additional Reading

Site: www.youclaim.co.uk
Release details: Immediate
Date: 10/10/05

Motorcyclists have the highest risk of suffering death or serious injury compared to other road users in the UK. They are twice as likely as cyclists, and sixteen times more likely than car drivers, to be killed or sustain serious injury when out on the roads.

There are around 30,000 injuries sustained each year as a result of motorcycle accidents, including 6000 serious personal injuries and 550 fatalities. To reduce these numbers, there needs to be better prevention of accidents (primary safety), and better safety knowledge to minimise the injuries sustained (secondary safety).

There are four elements to motorcycle accident and injury prevention:

1. The motorcycle

2. The road conditions

3. Other road users

4. The motorcyclist

1. The motorcycle
Before setting out, carry out a check on the motorcycle. Make sure that the front and back brakes are both working properly, that the lights are clean and that the tyres are not damaged. 3% of motorcycle accidents can be attributed to motorcycle problems, and the majority of these are tyre-related and avoidable.

2. The road conditions
The road conditions are cited as the cause of 15% of motorcycle accidents, with slippery roads due to rain or ice being the greatest reason, so be sure to take the conditions into consideration when riding. Pot holes and defective road surfaces also are the cause of many accidents, so be observant for any such imperfections in the road.

3. Other road users
Other road users, car drivers most frequently, are estimated to be the cause of between 50% and 60% of motorcycle accidents. Here are some tips to help avoid accidents with other road users:

- Try to anticipate the actions of the other road users, and alter positioning in the road and speed accordingly.

- Use the “lifesaver glance” (looking over the right shoulder) before executing any manoeuvres.

- Use headlights day and night. Yellow headlights have been shown to emit 15% less light, so it is probably best to avoid these.

- Be alert to the constantly changing road situation. It is important to avoid riding when tired, as reactions and awareness will be greatly reduced. A tired motorcyclist is extremely vulnerable, no matter how many years’ riding experience they have.

4. The motorcyclist
To help prevent accidents, wear bright, solid colours when riding. Breaking up colours is tantamount to camouflage and that is the last thing that a motorcyclist wants when trying to be visible to other road users. If possible, avoid wearing black and white, and try to wear clothes that are fluorescent in the day and reflective at night.

A motorcyclist should also wear clothes that will keep him warm. In RIDE magazine (Dec 2003) it was said that a cold rider is as much as a danger as a drunk rider, so keep safe and wrap up.

Wearing clothing that will also minimise injury is absolutely essential. The two types of injury that motorcyclists suffer are impact injuries and abrasions. Impact injuries can be lessened by wearing padding on the parts of the body that are likely to make contact with the ground first, such as elbows and knees. Leather is the best material to minimise abrasions.

The most frequent serious injury that is suffered in a motorcycle accident is a leg injury, which makes up 39% of all motorcycling injuries, so leg protection is vital. However, head injuries cause 80% of motorcycle fatalities and so investing in a good helmet is worth every penny. The best prevention for head injuries is a full face helmet that conforms to British Standard 6658 or European CE 22-05.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. We can help you make a personal injury claim against another driver who caused an accident or a Council that failed to ensure the good condition of the road surface.

For free, impartial legal advice on making a motorcycle accident claim, either go to www.youclaim.co.uk or call us on 0800 10 757 95. YouClaim have helped thousands of people make successful compensation claims after being involved in road accidents that were not their fault.

About the author:
Editorial notes: YouClaim provides free access to personal injury compensation for all kinds of accidents. There are no costs or fees to be paid when using the service, and customers keep 100% of their compensation.

Author: Alexandra Gubbins. For more information, please call 0800 10 757 95 or go to www.youclaim.co.uk


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