Motorcyclists take risks says survey

Road rules

A new survey showing one in four motorcycle riders take risks and exceed the speed limit gives a skewed and inaccurate view of motorcyclists.

In fact, motorcyclists are the most aware and safety conscious road users, according to other surveys.

The new survey of about 1300 riders commissioned by Canstar Blue also shows that 73% of riders are aware of tyre wear, 78% know their correct tyre pressures and 75% are concerned about other road users not seeing them.

Our recent global survey of MotorBikeWriter readers showed that 77% claimed road safety was the most important aspect of riding, followed by 71% concerned about road quality.

This also follows a British survey which found riders were far more aware of the road rules than other road users and more than twice as likely to pass a licence renewal test.

Far from being cavalier risk takers, we are the most safety conscious road users.

Bikes and roadworks don't mix crescendo - survey

Yet, with motorcycle road fatalities in Queensland heading toward record numbers, we can expect mainstream media to only concentrate on the sensationalist statistics that 25% of riders exceed the speed limit and take risks.

Actually, we’re surprised it’s only 25% who say they take risks. We all know riding a motorcycle is risky, but we do it anyway, so the figure should be more like 99%.

We still take the risk of riding because we calculate it is worth it for the thrill, freedom and inexplicable joy we get out of our passion.

At the same time as taking these calculated risks, motorcyclists are also aware of the dangers and devote most of our attention to not getting killed.

Meanwhile, the drivers around us are more concerned with listening to music, applying their lipstick or texting.

So when you read or hear of this new survey today, arm yourself with our statistics that show riders are possibly the safest road users.

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Canstar Blue survey results

Statement Total
Australian roads are dangerous for motorcyclists Agree
58%
Disagree
42%
Family or friends have encouraged me to stop riding because it can be dangerous Agree
56%
Disagree
44%
I’m often worried that other road users won’t see me Agree
75%
Disagree
25%
I’ve been involved in a collision with another vehicle Agree
23%
Disagree
77%
I’ve considered selling my motorcycle because riding can be dangerous Agree
32%
Disagree
68%
I often exceed the speed limit Agree
26%
Disagree
74%
I often take risks while riding (e.g. overtaking other vehicles, riding between vehicles) Agree
25%
Disagree
75%
I have had an accident whilst riding my motorcycle Agree
37%
Disagree
63%
I paid for my motorcycle with a bike loan or financing Agree
26%
Disagree
74%
I prefer riding a motorcycle to driving a car Agree
59%
Disagree
41%
Riding my bike makes me feel young at heart Agree
83%
Disagree
17%
Reason of riding a motorcycle but not driving a car It’s more convenient
46%
It’s exhilarating
63%
It’s cheaper
55%
It’s a great image
20%
It’s less maintenance
25%
Other
8%
Reason of owning a bike Cheaper to park
30%
Cheaper to buy (i.e. motorcycle itself)
24%
Cheaper fuel-wise (i.e. running cost)
45%
Easier to find a park
40%
As a hobby (e.g. weekend riding)
58%
To join a social group
12%
Makes me feel sexy
10%
Other (Please specify)
11%
I delay buying new tyres for as long as possible (even if I think I should replace them) Agree 32%
Disagree 68%
I’m not sure what the correct air pressure of my tyres should be Agree 22%
Disagree 78%
I’m not sure how to check if I need new tyres Agree 18%
Disagree 82%
I’m not sure what the legal tyre safety standards are Agree 27%
Disagree 73%
I have been fearful of an accident when driving because of worn tyres Agree 31%
Disagree 69%
I have been ripped off when buying tyres Agree 33%
Disagree 67%
I tend to buy the cheapest tyres available Agree 20%
Disagree 80%
I have driven on tyres I suspected were below legal safety standards Agree 27%
Disagree 73%
I tend to ignore engine warning lights showing in my motorcycle Agree 14%
Disagree 86%
I’m wary of being ripped off when buying tyres Agree 60%
Disagree 40%

7 Comments

  1. great article, I’ll be sure to repost this if i see the usual sensationalist articles reported in the mainstream media. i think it stands to reason that motorcyclist are more aware of road rules & conditions as well as the conditon and capability of our vehicles , while being more aware of other road users, after all we have the least protection and therefore the most to loose

  2. One thing that always gets me with these statistics is that the australian
    rider population is so small ,How do you make kind of informed policy
    on the data .If in one state you have 40 fatalities then separate
    other vehicle at fault, road conditions , rider error, falling grand piano’s etc
    not to mention increased bike sales or that off road and unregistered
    are included a couple of extra deaths can totally warp the figures
    But more importantly yes we know motorcycling is more dangerous than
    driving a car or sitting home watching tv So what. The only ones wringing their
    hands about this have probably never sat on or ridden a bike in their lives and
    never intend to do so

  3. Good article Mark. While I would agree that the majority of riders are safer than most drivers, 40% of rider fatalities are single vehicle crashes – http://motorbikewriter.com/road-death-statistics/ Of the other 60%, most are driver-at-fault, but in total at least half of rider fatalities are rider-at-fault. Not long ago here there were 4 fatals in 48hrs, 2 on the same road within an hour. Of those, 3 were single vehicle. So it’s understandable that the authorities target us and until those stats change drastically in our favour they will continue to do so.

    What the media always fail to point out is that a small bingle for a car results in the driver walking away unhurt, while even a small bingle on a bike can result in the rider ending up in hospital or worse, a fact which riders are very well aware of. So it’s actually amazing that there are so few rider fatalities and a credit to all riders.

    1. I understand there has been a policy of booking riders in single vehicle accidents
      when it has been caused by potholes and mounds in the road etc which in some
      part absolves authorities from blame . Road maintenance in some regional
      areas is a total disgrace

    1. Cars?

      Make minor changes and apply to pedestrians. I’m sure there would be similar results but interpreted quite differently.

      Interesting that they ask about “is it dangerous” but neglect to ask “do you do anything to manage the risks”?

      Very different interpretation without the second question.

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