Motorcycle crash data released recently for Queensland shows that men aged 40 and older are the riders most at risk on our roads.
Sadly, they account for around 75% of all motorcycle fatalities.
In 2016, 62 riders or pillions died on Queensland roads, around a quarter of the state’s road fatalities.
Already this year 8 motorcycle fatalities have been reported in Queensland, and 6 of these riders were aged 40 and over.
Yet motorcycles make up less than 5% of all registered road vehicles.
A story run today by the ABC says the latest data challenges the long-held belief that young men are the biggest risk.
The ABC report quotes Queensland Police Inspector Peter Flanders as saying that “speed, inexperience, and loss of control were the main contributors.”
Inspector Flanders goes on to say that “other road users are not the problem”.
“Figures for 2016 showed two-thirds of motorbike crashes were caused by the rider.”
Some research into the causes of motorcycle crashes places that figure even higher.
Campaigns to reduce rider’s risks
Several campaigns have been launched to address the disproportionate number of riders being hurt or killed on our roads.
Queensland Government launched it’s latest campaign last October to coincide with changes to the state’s motorcycle licensing laws.
The campaign features five-time world MotoGP champion Mick Doohan in a series of videos highlighting the need for riders to develop higher levels of awareness and observation skills when riding.
The campaign encourages riders to learn to read the road, the conditions, the potential hazards and stay focused and in control.
A personal campaign was started in 2015 by Richard Wall who’s best friend Dave Bailey died after a motorbike crash on Mt Nebo.
Richard’s campaign – RideSafely4Me – is aimed at reducing rider impulsiveness.
Motorcycle Life, in conjunction with the Australian Road Safety Foundation and Queensland Government, is also about to launch a road based roadcraft training course called SMART Rider.
The full day course is being run in the Gold Coast hinterland, one of the hotspots for motorcycle crashes in Queensland.
The course consists of a theory session at the beginning of the day, followed by a mentored road ride through the Gold Coast hinterland where riders will be taught to identify potential hazards, given strategies to deal with them and make better decisions on the road.
Decisions that will make their riding far more enjoyable … and safer.
The SMART Rider program begins in the first week of March and will cost just $95 for the full day.
More information is available and bookings can be made through the Motorcycle Life website.
Motorcycle Life acknowledges that some information in this article has come from the ABC report by Allyson Horn and thanks the ABC for their support of motorcycle safety.