Motorcyclists - how to stay safe on the roads this summer

Motorcycle fatalities have decreased by 51 per cent since 2004, according to government statistics.

In 2004 585 motorcyclists were killed and in 2020 there were 285 fatalities. Serious injuries fell by 48 per cent over the same time, 4,429 riders were reported to be seriously injured and 8,890 slightly injured.

Bearing in mind that motorcyclists make up fewer than three per cent of vehicles on the UK’s roads, even though they have gone down, these disproportionately high figure show how risky motorcycling can be.

As the riding season gets into full swing, road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist has suggested ways to reduce motorcycle casualties further.

Top tips to stay safe on the roads this summer

GEM chief executive Neil Worth said: “There’s a lot of satisfaction to be gained from riding a motorcycle with skill and precision. But if you’re riding at speed, there is no margin for error if you – or another road user near you – gets something wrong.

“That’s why we’re not only encouraging riders to give themselves a ‘skills MOT’ during this early part of this season, and we’re also urging drivers and pedestrians to make a special point of looking out for motorcyclists, especially at junctions. After all, it’s here around 30 riders are killed or injured every day.

Follow GEM’s five simple ‘lifesaver’ safety tips and reduce the risk of being involved in a collision:

If you’ve had your bike in the garage for the winter, use the start of the riding season to invest in a refresher day with a training professional. Search online for motorcycle training days or consult your local club or advanced motorcyclists’ group.

Make sure you take time to warm up, especially if you are not a regular rider and not ‘bike fit’.

Ensure self-preservation is your priority. The predominant cause of motorcycle crashes is the failure of car drivers to detect and recognise motorcycles in traffic. So wear high visibility clothing on all journeys, and ride in a way that gives others a better chance of seeing you.

Don’t ride beyond your comfort zone, especially if you’re riding in a group. If your friends are cornering too quickly for you, let them go and join them at the next junction.

Try not to dwell on your errors as you go along. Plan 10 to 15 seconds ahead, anticipate the next hazards. When you stop for a break, reflect on anything that didn’t go to plan, ask what you have learnt and how you can reduce the chance of the same thing happening again.

As well as offering tips for riders, GEM is asking all road users to keep a good look-out for motorcyclists.

Neil Worth concluded: “The roads are there for us all to use, so do get into the habit of expecting to see motorcycles on a journey.

“It may seem an easy and obvious step, but it has significant potential in terms of helping to reduce risk and injuries.