More than seven out of ten motorcyclists feel unsafe on British roads because of the attitudes of other road users, new research has revealed.
Nearly eight out of ten said that they felt there was a conflict between them and other road users and a third said they had been a victim of road rage in the last year.
One in ten has been injured as a result of a collision in the last 12 months and three quarters said they often had to take evasive action when riding to avoid getting hit by other drivers.
Car drivers were seen as the biggest threat to the safety of motorcyclists and 78 per cent said they felt that they didn’t get any respect from other road users if they were on a bike.
The research, which quizzed 500 regular motorcyclists about their experiences on the road, was commissioned by Slater and Gordon Lawyers.
Slater and Gordon Serious Injury Lawyer Deborah Johnson said, “During the winter months we always see an increase in victims of road accidents and motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable. There have been some great awareness campaigns over the years but it seems like bikers often feel there is a disrespectful attitude towards them on the roads.
“Motorcyclists shouldn’t feel unsafe on the roads and the idea that there is a conflict between people riding motorcyclists and people driving cars is quite alarming. When a motorcyclist is involved in an accident they normally come off worse and the most common type of injury is to the head, meaning they are particularly at risk.”
Common complaints from motorcyclists were that drivers failed to check their blind spots, failed to indicate and also failed to judge their speed appropriately.
Many reported drivers driving too close to them and 42 per cent said they had experienced pedestrians walking out in front of them.
The average motorcyclist has had six near-misses in the past 12 months and had to take evasive action an average five times per month. Worryingly 85 per cent said that they regularly felt that drivers just didn’t notice them.
Nearly two thirds of motorcyclists felt that recent government campaigns had highlighted the need to be aware of road users on bikes but two thirds said they felt the best way to make them feel safer on the road was to have the police enforce the existing laws in place to protect them.
Nearly half had suffered verbal abuse from other road users while a fifth said they had experienced drivers shouting profanities at them from their vehicle as they drove past. Bizarrely nine per cent of those questioned said they had experienced people purposely throwing stuff at them.
Another issue to come from the report was the problem of pot-holes with a quarter of motorcyclists complaining that they were a threat to their safety.
“There are things that all drivers can do to make sure they are driving in the safest way possible to protect themselves and other road users," said Deborah. "It just takes a second to check your mirrors but so many clients end up coming to us after suffering a serious injury on the road because one of the parties involved didn’t take the time to check them.”
Deborah Johnson is a Principal Lawyer in the Serious Injury department at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester.
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