Motorcycling Info

Seen on a UK government website in October 2002

Motorcyclists represent less than 1% of road traffic but suffer 18% of deaths and serious injuries. Motorcyclists are 45 times more likely to be killed on the road than car drivers – and these figures are rising. About 40% of motorcycle crashes are caused when a rider simply fails to get round a bend and runs out of road with nobody else involved.


And in November 2004

Motorcyclists make up just 1% of traffic on roads but account for 26% of deaths and serious injuries in crashes on the county’s roads.


In the three years before CBT was introduced, (1990), an average of 692 motorcyclists were killed every year. By 1992, when every rider with less than two years experience had taken CBT, the figure was less than 500. And between then and 1998, the average was 462.

Prior to 1990, more than 40,000 riders were hurt on our roads every year. By the mid-90s that was down to 23,000.

BUT…….Motor Cycle Industry Association statistician Nick Brown, a former road safety officer, said: “There has been no research specifically into the effects of CBT.”

Prior to its launch, a lot of casualties were under 25. This started to change after 1990, but so did the type of people riding bikes.

“When CBT was introduced, around 60 per cent of people taking their tests were under 25. But today around 60 per cent of new riders are over 25. It’s proven that younger riders are less cautious and more likely to have an accident, so this has also contributed to the drop in accidents.”

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, the body in charge of testing new riders, is also reluctant to give CBT all the credit for cutting accident rates.

A spokesman said: “It’s difficult to tell how successful it’s been. The number of accidents has certainly gone down, but there is no proof to say whether that’s solely because of the CBTs.”


Despite the question marks over the exact effect of CBT, everyone agrees we’re better off with it than without it.

Between 1991 and 1996, the accident rate for 17-19 year old fell by 57%; for 20-29 year olds it fell by 30%; for 30-39 year olds it rose by 41%; for 40-49 year olds it rose by 11%. Bike usage peaked in the early 60’s and early 80’s.

About 700,000 people held bike licences in 1994 (about the same as for 1930), against 1,400,000 in 1980 and 1,800,000 in 1960. Bike usage and new bike registrations are on the up again.


From BMF 04.03.01
There has been a large and generally sustained reduction in motorcycle casualty figures since the introduction of year 2000 targets in 1987. Casualty numbers have fallen by over 60 per cent, exceeding the 40 per cent target that the Conservative government set in the mid-1980s. The casualty rate has also fallen.

However, motorcycles, like bicycles, remain a disproportionately vulnerable mode of transport. Motorcycle riders are between 16 and 35 times more likely to be involved in a collision than car users. A large majority (over 60 per cent) of these accidents are caused by other road users being unaware of a motorcycle’s presence.


In 1998 6,446 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured in the UK.


The 2 most frequent causes of motorcycle accidents are
1. The failure of other road users to see the motorcycles
2. The incorrect use of motorcycle brakes


Motorcycle theft is on the increase. Scooters and larger sports bikes are particularly vulnerable. Only a small percentage (14%) of motorcycles are recovered compared with an recovery rate of approximately 60% for cars. Motorcycles are, in the main, light and highly portable, meaning that theft can be a simple and fast process.