It is almost an undisputed fact that motorcyclists are the safest road users with a 2016 British survey providing further proof of our safety consciousness.
The survey asked a series of questions on bad driving habits. They include whether the motorist has ever sped, illegally used a phone while driving, drink-drove, changed lanes without indicating or other traffic sins.
Motorcycle riders came out on top as the safest while van drivers were at the bottom.
Despite media demonising riders as dangerous risk takers, this survey and others find riders are more concerned about safety than other motorists.
In 2015, another British survey found riders would perform better if they had to retake their road test theory exam than car drivers. The 2014 British Association of Chief Police Officers report to the UK government confirms that motorcyclists are better motorists than drivers. The report even suggests more people should learn to ride so they are safer motorists. And a 2013 Belgian road safety report says the more motorbikes on the road, the safer our roads would be.
In that survey, motorists were asked ‘Have You Ever’ to a series of traffic infringements and bad driving habits. It was commissioned by UK motor insurance specialists Staveley Head.
Here are some of the results:
- Although motorcyclists came out as the safest, 90% still admitted to speeding but it was 5% lower than car drivers;
- While riders don’t use their phones when riding, only a third said they used them when driving, compared with 59% of car drivers;
- Shockingly, 20% of truck drivers admitted to taking a selfie while driving compared with 8% of riders;
- Motorcyclists are the least likely to drink and drive or ride at 28% compared with truck drivers (59%), van drivers (57%) and car drivers (42%); and
- 33% of van drivers admitted to clipping/scratching someone’s car by accident and driving off. Only 19% of motorcyclists admitted to this. But we’ll forgive them … they were probably pinned in by a car not leaving them room to filter!
Our view on why riders are safety conscious
We agree that riders are the safest road users. We have to be. The consequences of not paying full attention, riding sober and being properly trained are dire.
We’ve seen how distracted drivers endanger us so we wouldn’t do the same to other motorists. We ride to enjoy ourselves, not to get from A to B, so we are concentrating on riding, not on distractions to pass the time.
Riders are also more likely to seek advanced training than other motorists.
And even though we are only legally required to wear a helmet, most of us also choose to wear other protective gear such as jackets, boots, gloves and pants.
Ok, some of us may speed occasionally, but we seem to do it when we assess the risks are low. We prefer to concentrate on the road and the conditions, rather than our speedos and some officially nominated speed limit.
That doesn’t make us reckless, but focussed.