Two recent crashes involving riders running into each other have prompted us to investigate multi-motorcycle accidents and provide tips on how to avoid them.
In one recent accident, two riders and a pillion were injured when two motorcycles collided head-on (pictured above) and in the other, two riders travelling the same direction collided and one rider crashed and sadly died.
We publish these crash reports to remind riders of their vulnerability, make them aware of different types of crash scenarios and offer safety tips. Click here to find out more.
Multi-bike crashes rare
On a brighter note, multi-motorcycle crashes are actually very rare.
In fact, Queensland University of Technology road safety researcher and Triumph Street Triple rider Ross Blackman says that in Queensland they represent just 1% of all crashes and about 4% of motorcycle crashes.
“Of course they’d be much more common in countries with high levels of motorcycle/scooter use,” he says.
“Same-direction collisions are obviously different from head-ons.
“In the former it seems to raise the question of whether they were travelling too close together.”
This can lead to riders banging bars or running into the back of another bike they are following too closely.
Some ride groups enforce a staggered formation as they say it provides greater braking distance to avoid rear-enders while keeping the group together and not strung out.
However, it means a pack of riders are travelling closely together. So if one crashes, it could involve another.
Or in the case of a crash at Kyogle in northern NSW last October, one rider tragically died and three others were injured when a Kias Rio on the wrong side of the road ploughed into their pack. Police have still not charged the driver.
Group riding tips
We have previously offered tips on group riding which you can find by clicking here.
One of the tips is to appoint a tail-end Charlie.
Myrtleford Police Sgt Paul Evans says a Harley-Davidson rider who recently plunged 20m off a cliff in the Victorian Alps only survived because the group had appointed a tail-end Charlie who noticed he was missing.
It still took them about 90 minutes to find him.
How to avoid head-on crashes
How many times have you almost been taken out head-on by a rider cutting a corner or running wide out of a corner?
To avoid cutting a corner or running wide, you need to have a wide entry to the corner with a late apex. Click here for more details.
If all riders practise this, t will help avoid head-on crashes in corners.
Another dangerous riding behaviour that can lead to a head-on is dangerous overtaking.
Many riders sit too close to the vehicle in front, which obscures their vision of what’s ahead.
That makes it difficult for riders to see an approaching car, let alone a motorcycle which has a much smaller silhouette.
And riders shouldn’t assume that an approaching rider will simply move over and let them overtake a vehicle because motorcycles are narrower.
Remember, the approaching rider might not be able to see you if you are too close behind the vehicle you are about to overtake.