More sad news this summer concerning road traffic accidents involving motorcycles, usually serious ones. I remembered blogging about this summer phenomenon before and I found this article below from almost exactly two years ago (5/8/11). I’m afraid it all still rings true.
The good weather, light evenings and dry road conditions that summer (we hope) brings all help to entice bikers back out on the roads on their motorcycles. Winding country roads are a particular favourite for bikers who want to enjoy the open road and the real feel-good benefits of challenging biking.
Unfortunately this can all be a deadly combination. As it is, motorcycles make up only 1% of all road traffic, but 10% of all accidents involve motorcyclists [Source: Department of Transport]. Motorcyclists are not only much more likely to be involved in an accident, but they are also much more likely to be very seriously injured in one too, or worse and killed.
In summer some extra factors cause further or different hazards. Road side verges and crops grow and on winding roads that often means that visibility of the road ahead is poor, or very limited. Speed then becomes a major risk. Some motorcyclists get carried away and simply go too fast or take risks, like cutting corners. Some only go biking in the summer and so are rusty or just plain inexperienced, perhaps with bikes that are too powerful for them. There can also be a slightly reckless degree of peer pressure amongst the brother and sisterhood of some bikers’ groups.
Of course most bikers are sensible and careful riders and, as with other times of the year, the fault for accidents is very often nothing to do with the biker, but to do with other road users driving badly or just not looking for bikers hard enough. Add on to that any issues with road surfaces, particularly with the plague of pot holes we have following two very cold and harsh winters, and we are seeing a lot of challenges and risks for bikers to face.
Whatever the cause, these accidents, especially those at high speed on National Speed Limit winding country roads, often have catastrophic consequences, sometimes for all concerned. Inevitably, I’ve dealt with quite a few injury compensation claims arising out of these accidents and they can be incredibly sad and challenging. As injury compensation Solicitors based in Leeds, we see a lot of accidents like this on rural West, and especially North Yorkshire Roads. Beautiful areas, but dangerous roads if you are not careful.
As bikers and drivers all we can do is be sensible, drive and ride diligently and bear in mind the seasonal hazards like reduced lines of sight due to crops and verges.
More soon, John
PS – note that the pothole situation hasn’t improved in this time either.