Speeding only minor cause of motorcycle crashes

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A new Government report has once again revealed that speeding is actually only a minor cause of motorcycle accidents.

The Government’s “Compendium of Motorcycle Statistics 2007” repeats earlier findings showing that exceeding the speed limit is put down as a contributory factor – and even then not necessarily as the main cause – of just four percent of bike crashes where some blame is put on the rider.

The biggest factor is “failure to look properly”, a contributory factor in 15 percent of motorcycle crashes, followed by “loss of control” at 14 percent and “failed to judge other persons path or speed” at 11 percent.

“Careless, reckless or in a hurry” also rates at 11 percent, but this doesn’t mean actually breaking the speed limit.

“Exceeding the speed limit” was jointly rated as the bottom contributory factor, alongside “following too close”, also on four percent.

That comes despite surveys showing that large proportions of bikers do speed – the Government figures showing as many as 25 percent go more than 10mph over motorway speed limits– although a footnote reveals that even the report’s authors admit that the figures for speeding should be “interpreted with caution” as the number of bikes included in the survey was too small to give an accurate picture.

Other information in the report includes the fact the riders are less likely than other road users to drink and drive, with just 1.5 percent of those tested failing breath tests, against an average of 1.9 percent for all road users.

Ben Purvis

By Ben Purvis