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News weekly update: history of motorbike safety — crazy motorbike safety stats

Owning a motorbike can be a childhood dream fulfilled or the desire for a more practical mode of transport. Either way, being on a bike tends to conjure passion and a real love of travelling.

Old helmet.

There's something about those two wheels that evokes images of freedom — driving off into the sunset, hearing the wind rush past you.

But as cool as motorbikes may be, they can also be seen as a dangerous type of transportation:

  • It's been legal requirement to wear a helmet when riding in a motorbike for less than 50 years. The Motor Cycles (Wearing of Helmets) Regulations 1973 was introduced in February 1973 and came into effect on 1 June of that year.
  • According to government figures, motorcyclists make up just 1% of total road traffic in the UK, but account for 19% of all road user deaths.
  • What's more, per mile ridden, motorcyclists are around 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants.
  • In 2014, motorcyclists were involved in 5,558 serious accidents. These accidents killed 339 motorcyclists, while another 5,289 were seriously injured — the highest level since 2009.
  • Nearly half (45%) of motorcycling accidents occurred at junctions, and as many as 30 motorcyclists are thought to be killed or injured every day at junctions.

But there are things motorcyclists can do to increase their safety when out on their bikes:

Wear the right gear

Motorcycle safety's evolved significantly over the years — long gone are the leather helmets. Whilst wearing the right gear might not seem that cool, it could save your life.

Riding defensively

Although safety gear's become more sophisticated over the years, make sure you know how to ride properly.

Riding defensively makes you less vulnerable. This includes anticipating the actions of others, staying alert and observant, and taking a 'lifesaver' glance over your shoulder before carrying out manoeuvres.

Further training

To improve your performance and safety on the road, it might be worth considering further skills training.

And, of course, there are things drivers can do to avoid any potential motorbike accidents, such as: taking longer to look for bikes when changing lanes, when turning or at junctions; keeping your distance; and checking for motorcyclists before opening your car door.

What motorbike safety stat surprised you the most?