These Shocking Accident Statistics Show the Dangers for Motorcyclists

December 19, 2018

Dangers on the road can come in many forms no matter the vehicle you use or if you’re a pedestrian. However, if you drive a motorbike or ride a pedal bike, the risk to your health and safety increases greatly.

Your protection is limited and you have less control over your bike compared to cars, especially when it comes to navigating around road defectives such as pot holes. But are you aware of the figures for accidents and fatalities involving motorbike and pedal bike users?

Discover some of the most shocking 2016-17 statistics for accidents involving motorcyclists and cyclists…

An Introduction to the Following Accident Statistics

The accident statistics we will focus on in this article largely show a comparison of road accidents in 2016 and 2017 unless otherwise stated. The figures have been released by the UK government based on accidents reported by police forces using the STATS19 reporting system.

The statistics correlate to accidents that occurred on public roads involving at least one motor vehicle, horse rider or cyclist. It does not cover damage-only incidents or accidents that have happened on private land or within a car park. We must also take into account that accidents which have caused non-fatal and slight injuries are under-reported to police and there is no obligation for people to report all personal injury accidents. Therefore, it’s important to recognize that these statistics don’t show the whole extent of road accidents but they do offer a certain level of insight into the dangers for motorcyclists and cyclists.

We will begin by briefly highlighting some of the general statistics involving all road users:

  • Motor traffic levels increased slightly by 1.1% in 2017
  • There were 1,793 deaths in 2017 – one more than the previous year’s total
  • The number of fatalities on the road has generally remained at a consistent level for six years
  • There were 24,831 serious injuries reported in 2017 – an increase of 730 from the previous year

How Motorbike & Cycle Accidents Compare To Cars

As the roads are mainly dominated by cars, it’s no surprise that the vast majority of deaths involve car occupants. In 2017, cars made up 80% of road traffic and accounted for 787 deaths. The fatalities of motorcyclists is nearly half this figure which is remarkably close given that they only formulate a small percentage of the road demographic. The danger for motorcyclists significantly soared in 2017 with a staggering 9% increase in deaths, up 30 from the previous year’s total of 319. The deaths of pedal bike riders only marginally increased by one but still remains at a high total of 102 deaths.

Only when you look at the casualty rates by the number of causalities per mile travelled do the statistics show the true extent of the shocking dangers motorcyclists and cyclists face above all else. These statistics will further highlight why motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians form what is called a ‘vulnerable road users’ group.

  • The causality rate for motorcyclists decreased in 2017 but remains at an exceptionally high figure of 6,042 per billion passenger miles travelled
  • Pedal bikes saw an increase in causalities per mile travelled with an amount of 5,604
  • The pedestrian casualty rate stands at a consistent level of around 1,800 for both years
  • For cars, the 2017 figures amount to 238 casualty rate per billion passenger miles

From these figures, we can see that based on the causality rate per mile travelled, motorcyclists and cyclists are far more likely to be injured in a road accident than other forms of transport such as cars.

In using a similar comparison for fatalities, we continue to see a similar pattern.

  • For motorbikes, a fatality rate per billion passenger miles of 116.9 was recorded in 2017 – an increase of 12.4 from the previous year
  • The pedal bike fatality rate increased from 29.5 to 30.9
  • In 2017 the fatality rate per billion passenger miles for pedal bikes was 35.6
  • The fatality rate for cars is lower than the previous road user groups at around 1.9

While the fatality rate for both motorbikes and pedal bikes increased, the rate of deaths to motorcyclists saw the biggest increase and is significantly higher than the rest. From these sets of comparisons, it’s quite interesting to note that the causality rate for pedal bikes is closer to the motorbike casualty rate yet the fatality rate is more in line with the pedestrian fatality rate.

Motorbike Accidents – Key Stats

Here is a rundown of some of the key statistics for motorbike accidents based on 2016 & 2017 data compared:

  • There were 2.8 billion vehicle miles reported in both years
  • The number of causalities is down 7% from 19,297 to 18,042
  • 47% of causalities happened in London and the South East
  • Saw the biggest increase in fatalities when compared to other road user groups
  • In 2016 there were 319 fatalities with a 9% increase the following year, rising to 349
  • 19% of road deaths recorded in 2017 were motorcyclists
  • 91% of fatalities were male and 30% of fatalities were aged 17-24

What do these stats tell us? It’s quite apparent that while the amount of motorbike traffic has remained consistent, 2017 saw a signifiant jump in the amount of fatalities, especially when compared to other forms of transport. Despite only accounting for a small portion of road traffic, a staggering 19% of deaths were motorcyclists. The vast majority of deaths were males, many of whom were in their late teens or early twenties.

Cycle Accidents – Key Stats

Here is a rundown of some of the key statistics for cycle accidents based on 2016 & 2017 data compared:

  • Cycling traffic in 2017 is estimated to have decreased by 5% to 3.3 billion vehicle miles
  • The number of casualties has decreased slightly from 18,477 in 2016 to 18,321 in 2017
  • 41% of causalities happened in London and the South East
  • In 2017 there was just one less fatality than the previous year
  • The number of fatalities of cyclists has typically remained at a consistent number for the last few years
  • 6% of road deaths were motorcyclists in both years
  • 81% of fatalities were male and 44% of deaths occurred on weekdays at 7-9am and 3-7pm

What do these stats tell us? While cycling traffic has decreased by 5%, there has been little movement in the amount of causalities and fatalities to cyclists. London is a popular city for cycling, particularly due to the Boris Bike initiative, and a signifiant amount of deaths occurred during rush hour traffic with the cyclist mostly likely commuting to and from their workplace.

What Can Affect the Casualty Figures?

There are a number of different factors that can affect the casualty figures. The distance people travel, different modes of transport and the behaviour of other road users can all affect the rate. The weather can also play a part in terms of encouraging or discouraging travel, closing roads or increasing the risk of slippery and hazardous surfaces.

Since 2011, deaths segmented by road types has maintained at a consistent level. In 2017 there were 1,068 deaths on rural roads which makes up 60% of the overall comparison, while 626 deaths occurred on urban roads and 99 on motorways. In contrast, there were more causalities on urban roads at 63% with 33 having occurred on rural roads and 5% on motorways. In total, it’s estimated that 35% of traffic was recorded on urban roads, 44% on rural roads and 21% on motorways. Motorways have shown themselves to be a safe road type for motor vehicles but with good reason, it’s against the law for cyclists to ride on a motorway.

Accidents can also increase or decrease depending on how the country’s economy develops. As the economy grows, more and more people are likely to head to the roads which increases the amount of traffic and the likelihood of an accident. To counteract this, the government therefore invests money into providing better training, improving vehicle standards and maintaining enforcement of the law.

As the data that is available only provides a limited amount of details regarding changes to behaviours, it’s difficult to be able to pinpoint specific causes of change between individual years.

Have You Been Involved in a Motorbike or Cycle Accident?

As we have shown in this article, there is an alarming and ever-present danger to two of the most vulnerable road user groups. Motorcyclists and cyclists not only face the threat of being involved in a road accident, but they also face the danger of sustaining very serious injuries from the accident. The type of injuries caused from an accident, as well as the impact it can have on someone’s mental stability, can lead to life-lasting damage.

If you have been affected by a motorbike or cycle accident, you deserve to receive the appropriate amount of compensation. At motorbike accident claims we use our experience, knowledge and personal approach to deliver a high-quality level of service. A service that aims to help guide you through a difficult period of your life while fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Feel free to browse our website for more details and when you feel ready to talk about your accident claim, call us on 0151 724 7121 or complete the online contact form.