View Full Version : Speed kills - Oh yes it does - Oh no it doesn't.

Valentine One Radar Detector

03-06-2008, 04:02 PM
Have just picked up details from yet another government report on the relationship between motorcycle accidents and speeding. Only the other day, in one of our local tabloids, I was reading how excessive speed is linked with a high percentage of biker deaths. Now, today, I find that The Government 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 the main cause - of just 4% of bike crashes where some blame is put on the rider. (I think the last part of that para - Where some blame is put on the rider - is significant.) The biggest contributory factors are stated as;

1) Failure to look properly - 15%.
2) Loss of control - 14%.
3) Failure to judge another persons path or speed - 11%.
4) Careless, reckless or in a hurry - 11% NB: This does not necessarily indicate exceeding the posted speed limit.
5) Following too close (tailgating) - 4%.
6) Exceeding the speed limit - 4%.

I note that the above figures account for 59% of accidents, where the rider bears some portion of blame. I assume, therefore, that one can take it that 41% of accidents involving bikes do not have rider culpability. In round terms that is four out of ten accidents that are not the rider's fault, six out of ten where the riders carries some blame, but only four in a hundred where speed was a contributory - but not necessarily the main - factor.

The report acknowledges that that many riders do speed - the Government figures showing as many as 25% go more than 10mph over the motorway speed limit. A footnote reveals that even the report authors admit that the figures for speeding should be 'interpreted with caution' as the number of bikes included in the survey was small. I feel that the true figure is probably over 25% although, having said that, the majority of bikers I see on my motorway journeys do seem to cruise around the 80mph.

The report also says that riders are less likely than other road users to drink and drive. Just 1.5% of tested riders failed the breath test against an average of 1.9% for all road users.

Does anyone else have any idea of their national bike crash statistics?


Disco Man
03-07-2008, 05:59 PM

Excellent information there. From talking to cops, it seems that the areas you hit are what causes most accidents. I personally see on almost a weekly basis some crazy motorcyclists who take unnecessary risks and drive very aggressively on a crowded highway or road. However there are many safe motorcyclists who drive in a sane manner in my experience these are the majority.

03-07-2008, 06:14 PM

................ However there are many safe motorcyclists who drive in a sane manner in my experience these are the majority.

And, I would suggest, are the ones that nobody notices?