Fleet News

Working riders feel at risk on UK roads

MOTORCYCLISTS who ride for work purposes feel at risk on Britain’s roads, with congestion posing the biggest threat to safety, a major study of hundreds of riders has found.

Nine out of 10 quizzed in the study say they feel at risk of accidents out on the road, with one in four complaining that a high volume of traffic can often obstruct their view and cause them to brake suddenly.

Nearly one in five say poor road surfaces can cause accidents with one in 10 blaming other vehicles speeding.

Personal injury specialist RAC Legal Services carried out the safety study of 2,000 motorcyclists.

The introduction of the London congestion charge and road toll plans have encouraged many fleets to allow their staff to ride motorcycles on company business.

Commenting on the new study, RAC head of legal affairs Jonathan Gulliford said: ‘Bikers obviously feel exposed to a greater risk and Government statistics show a 14% increase in deaths and serious injuries among motorcyclists.

‘Some improvements can be made by minimising bad riding, but safety issues can only be solved by addressing congestion and road maintenance, particularly as people increasingly turn to bikes to beat traffic.’

The RAC Legal Services study also found that motor- cyclists themselves can contribute to the dangers they face out on the road.

One in three (36%) admitted to having suffered road rage or lost their temper, 29% confess to speeding every day and 21% ride too closely to the person in front.

The findings come a month after the Government produced a strategy that focused on motorcycle safety and the need for better training among riders (Fleet NewsNet, March 3).

In a foreword in the Government’s Motorcycle Strategy, Transport Minister David Jamieson said: ‘The strategy is a beginning. It encompasses important initiatives including better training to take skills to a higher level, improving rider and driver attitudes and behaviour, improved motorbike design, better designed infrastructures and smarter traffic management.’

  • What do you think? Email fleetnews@emap.com

    THE RAC Legal Services study asked motorcyclists what would make them feel safer. Almost two-thirds (61%) want to see improvements to road surfaces, while nearly half (48%) believe painting the road surfaces to mark danger zones near schools or junctions would improve safety.

    According to the study, a total of 47%, want to see a greater police presence to encourage all road users to improve their behaviour.

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