Since motorcycles are the fastest-growing vehicle segment in Australia, it would seem reasonable that motorcycle crashes would increase at a faster rate.
However, the real result is that they are reducing as a proportion to the increasing number of riders, the amount of time they ride and the distances they cover.
In other words, we are becoming safer road users.
And don’t let people tell you that the higher the bike’s power and bigger its engine capacity, the more dangerous the rider. More myths!
In fact, the same statistics show that 42% of bike crashes occur on bikes with less than 500cc, 36% between 500 and 1000cc and only 22% for capacities greater than a litre.
That could bear a relationship to the number of bikes in those capacities.
Also, perhaps the more higher powered the bike, the more circumspect we become, the more attention we pay to bike maintenance and the more likely we are to wear all the gear.
Unfortunately, the same statistics show that when big bikes crash there is much more weight involved and the speed is usually faster, so injuries are usually worse and the fatality rate higher.
We’re not oblivious to the dangers of riding. In fact, that is probably what makes us more observant and safety conscious.
We have to be. The consequences are dire!
As for the myths that riders are most often at fault, the Motorcycle Council of NSW says that in multi-vehicle collisions, the other driver is at fault in 38% of cases and the rider 22%.
As a comparison, ask yourself these questions about car drivers:
How many car drivers take advanced driver training courses?
Have you ever seen a car driver wear any protective clothing?
How many cars have extra lights and reflective tape so they can be seen?
How many drivers check their vehicle regularly or before they take off?
How many drivers scan the road for gravel, oil and other hazards?
How many drivers share driving tips with other drivers?
How many cars have bald tyres or non-functioning lights or indicators?
Now ask yourself the same questions of riders and their bikes. Rather than the myths about us being reckless and careless, I’m sure you will find we are generally far more attentive to our vehicles, our skill levels and our crash protection.