Never has more been done to raise awareness around the dangers associated with riding a motorbike, and the need to be careful and responsible at all times.
Campaigns, such as the nationally recognised ‘Think Bike’ message, are continually pushed out across the UK, yet accident figures suggest they are not having the desired impact.
It has now been revealed that the number of motorcyclists killed or injured on roads in Wales has risen for the fourth year in a row, reaching a seven-year high.
The total number of motorcycle riders killed, seriously or slightly injured in Wales in 2014 was 749. Of those, 28 people died, up from 17 in 2013.
These figures are clearly disappointing and need to be addressed and lowered as quickly as possible, but how can it be done?
Many will claim motorcyclists are not riding responsibly once they get out onto the open road, but at Hudgell Solicitors, as experts in handling motorcycle accident compensation claims, we know that in the majority of cases, accidents involving motorbikes are actually the fault of other road users.
And unfortunately, because motorcyclists are more exposed, they tend to suffer more serious injuries, with potentially long-term and life-changing consequences.
This is something reflected in the new figures, which showed that despite making up just 1 per cent of road traffic in Wales, motorcyclists accounted for 37 per cent of those killed or seriously injured on the roads.
Obviously, all motorbike owners must ride sensibly and to the conditions at all times if accident numbers are to fall, but what about the rest?
Amongst the most common causes we see of motorbike accidents are when riders are knocked off when not seen by other motorists at a junction, and a general lack of awareness of motorbikes by other drivers, especially ay junctions.
Despite campaigns, if we don’t ride a motorbike, we’re still often not thinking about them when we make driving decisions.
Dave Nichols, spokesman for road safety charity Brake, said: “Every road casualty causes appalling suffering, and every one can be prevented, but only if we make the right moves. Everyone who uses the road has a responsibility to look out for each other, whether a rider or driver, and make sure we slow down and keep well within the limits.”
That is a message we entirely agree with, especially given the increasing number of vehicles on the roads, and it being the time of year when bikers are out on the roads in larger numbers enjoying the longer nights.
The key message is that a good driver isn’t one who just ensures the safety of all in their own vehicle, but also of all others on the roads, at all times.