It’s not a given that if you’re a motorcycle user that you like to live dangerously, however statistics prove that if you’re a biker the likelihood of having a road traffic accident is much greater than if you drive a car.
Until the arrival of the Covid pandemic it was reckoned that motorcyclists were 50 times more likely than someone driving an automobile to be involved in an accident.
The accident figures for 2020 have been skewed simply because for three months of the year we were under lockdown with all kinds of movement across the UK discouraged unless urgent, hence a reduction in the figures for motorcycle crashes.
The statistics reveal that 4,790 motorcycle riders or passengers were killed or seriously injured in 2019/2020, compared to 5,817 in the year before, running from July 2018 to June 2019. Basically an 18% drop which compares to a 9% decline in the equivalent figure for car users, a 13% drop for pedestrians and a 1% improvement for cyclists.
However, as we get back to normal and traffic levels increase once again then so can accident levels be expected to rise.
Research shows that:
- Motorcycle crash victims are more likely to be male
- Motorcyclists between the ages of 25 and 59 were most likely to be killed or seriously injured in a motorcycle accident, with those aged between 20 and 24 years of age a close second.
- Fatal crashes are more likely to happen on a Sunday
- More than half motorbike accident claims occur on 50-125cc motorcycles
Common causes of motorbike accidents
Collisions with careless drivers
The majority of motorbike accidents are caused by interaction with other road users who fail to notice bikers. These kinds of accidents can occur at junctions, or through overtaking another vehicle.
Poor weather can present challenging driving conditions for motorcyclists. Fog, rain, ice and heavy wind can all be dangerous to the biker.
Oily spills, mud on the road, uneven surfaces can all present a major hazard.
Negotiating road hazards requires the kind of experience that many newer motorcyclists just aren’t prepared for.
Failure to negotiate bends
Approaching a bend at high speed or misjudging the curve of a bend is another cause of accidents.
Common injuries from motorcycle accidents
Wearing a motorcycle helmet if you’re riding on the road is obviously required by law but even so you may sustain head injuries in an accident. The damage may not be apparent straight away but even the mildest concussion should be treated by a medical professional as head injuries can be lethal.
The momentum of falling off a motorcycle can mean motorcyclists are carried several feet along the road and this can result in skin being rubbed and lacerated on impact.
Muscle injuries are another concern as they may increase the risk of paralysis.
A leg injury may put you out of work for months, or indeed have life-changing consequences.
I’ve had a motorbike accident, what should I do next?
If nobody has been injured and there has been no damage to anyone else or their vehicle or property then the police don’t need to be informed however…
- You should dial 999 immediately if your motorcycle accident has caused a hazard to other traffic or someone is injured.
- If another person has been injured in the accident, or there has been damage to another vehicle or street furniture such as signs or lamp posts then you need to issue the other person with your name and address and registration number.
- If this isn’t possible you need to report the accident to the police within 24 hours.
- If someone else is involved in the accident scene and they left without leaving details you need to call the police.
- If you injure or kill a dog or farm animal this must be reported to the police.
If you want to make a claim, witnesses to the accident will be useful going forward.
These will be helpful in identifying the location of the accident and also be useful if for example the accident was caused because the road was in a bad state of repair.
- Tell your insurance company
- Even if it is a minor accident and nobody else is involved you should report this to your insurance company.
Making a claim
The after-effects of being involved in a road traffic accident can be very traumatic. You may be dealing with physical injury but also the mental effects including financial worries and the stress of not being able to go back to work but at Wafer Phillips we are here to help you. If you have had an accident through no fault of your own then we can take you through the process stage by stage and help you receive the compensation you need to aid your recovery.
- We will help you to collect information and assess your claim
We need to understand how and under what circumstances the accident took place with the aim of determining who is liable. Sometimes liability may be disputed which is why witnesses to the event are important but we can also proceed without them. We may also look at police reports and investigate whether any criminal proceedings were brought against the other driver.
- We’ll look at your support and rehabilitation needs
If your motorcycle accident caused you serious injury then you may require ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. This will involve a medical assessment from an independent medical advisor so that all your needs are met and so that you can get your life back on track.
- We’ll calculate your level of compensation
Once the extent of your injuries has been established and how much care you’re going to require in the future is determined we can then look at what amount of compensation you are likely to receive. We’ll also want to ensure that as well as medical and rehab bills are paid for you’ll be compensated for loss of earnings, giving you peace of mind with regard to you and your family’s future. Once we’ve done this, the opposing party will be presented with our findings. Of course they may not accept the sum and may make a counter offer. If that is unacceptable the next stage is to go to court where a judge will decide on the level of compensation you should receive.