Okay bikers, despite some of us having thicker skulls than the rest of the population, we seem to be learning that motorcycling is more of a skill than a past time.
Like them or loathe them, and we loathe them, statistics are making for happy reading in the first three months to March 2013. There have been many campaigns over the years aimed at bikers and more to the point, aimed at other motorists who are reminded to be aware of us on the roads.
But before we pat ourselves on the back, the numbers of injuries and fatalities involving motorbikes is still far too high.
In 2004 almost 16,500 people were injured as a result of accidents involving cars. Today that number has fallen virtually year on year to slightly less than 8,500.
In 2004 the number of motorcyclists injured as a result of being involved in accidents was in excess of 7000 with today’s figures showing that in the first three months of 2013 it has dropped to just above 5,500.
This is good news for the biker and the insurer who see us less of a risk than we were perceived ten years ago.
If we compare between 2012 and 2013 the figures show that casualties for motorcycle related accidents were down 27%.
In addition to this the number of people that were in the ‘killed and seriously injured’ category fell by a whopping 28%.
One of the main factors in the recent decreases has been attributed to the weather which has shown more cold spells than in previous years. We are less likely to take to two wheels in cold weather than we are at the height of a dry warm summer; an obvious fact you might say, but none the less it has a marked effect on the figures that are examined by the Office for National Statistics.
It must be understood that the figures are only estimates and are provided by data forwarded by 48 police authorities to central government.
There are however other sources of information that can sometimes frequently counter these figures. For instance, information from hospital casualty departments that tend to show that there are many accidents involving motorcyclists that aren’t in fact reported to the police. There are also accidents reported to insurers that haven’t been reported to police. Therefore we can safely assume that the ONS data must only be taken as a guide and not a true reflection of the exact figures relating to injuries due to motorcycle accidents.
But the trend is downward, and only if we could convince our insurers that we aren’t the poor risk we once were, then it will be ‘happy days’ for us and our insurance premiums.
Alas – we can all dream.
So all the technological advances made in relation to safety equipment and clothing seems to be paying off. Driver awareness of the presence of motorcycles on the roads appears to be sinking in to drivers of cars at long last.
But we can’t help but think that the stringent motorcycle tests that are now in force must be significantly contributing to safety in riding style. Knowledge is everything but applying that knowledge and converting it into riding skill is what keeps us alive.