The headline figures and continuous police crackdowns may have you believing riding a bike is more dangerous than ever. But latest figures from the Government itself reveal the accident rate for motorcyclists is DOWN.
Figures released by the Department for Transport show that the number of riders killed on UK roads did rise (by 14 per cent) in the last year. But that's far from the whole story.
Take into account an increase in both the number of bikes on the road and the number of miles we are riding and the casualty rate shows a nine per cent drop for 2003.
According to the report there were 355,000 more bikes licensed for the road in 2003 than in 1993 and last year we travelled 1.8 billion more kilometres than we did 10 years ago.
Once this rise in use is factored in, the number of rider casualties per 100 million kilometers ridden fell by nine per cent from 2002 to 2003 - and a massive 22 per cent from 1993 to 2003.
In 1993 the total number of riders killed or injured per 100 million vehicle kilometers was 610, but by last year that figure had dropped to just 477.
A separate DfT report published at the same time shows that the majority of motorcycle accidents happen in town and more than 60 per cent of these were the fault of the car driver. The most common cause of a car taking out a bike remains the driver's a failure to spot the bike.
How many more times must we hear ‘Sorry mate, I didn’t see you’? before the Government works out how it could really tackle road safety?
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