The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) is urging motorists to follow
sensible driving advice as the winter weather creates more hazardous
Statistics show on an average weekday around half of all collisions
with motorcycles happen during the morning and evening peak traffic
periods the light is poor.
Motorcycling is playing an increasingly important role as an
alternative to the car in congested areas and rider vulnerability in
urban areas needs to be addressed.
A number of factors contribute to accidents in urban areas and a
significant proportion are related to the driving skills of all riders
and drivers including poor observation and decision-making skills among
all road users and inappropriate or excessive speed.
In the winter, adverse weather such as snow, ice and rain create
problems as riders are forced to go slower or use more space for
turning. Diesel spillages that get mixed with rain are another hazard as
they create an extremely slippery surface. In the darker mornings and
evenings it is also more difficult to see riders among the glare of
Motorcycles are not generally seen in the most extreme weather, but
riders can be caught out by changes in conditions and that this may
alter their behaviour on the road. Head winds slow bikes with small
engines, cross-winds can cause sudden shifts in road position, wet and
slippery surfaces mean riders need to take more road space as they
negotiate bends and turns and motorcycle headlights are easily lost
against low sun.
Craig Carey-Clinch Director of Public Affairs said, "As Winter
approaches it is essential that all road users act responsibly and
follow simple safety advice that could save a life. Everyone has the
right to share the road and riders are more vulnerable, so both riders
and drivers alike need to be more vigilant for everyone's safety.
"Drivers need to be aware that bikers might get caught on by changes
in weather and will change their riding accordingly, for example they
may need to use more road space or be forced out of position by the
wind, so it is necessary to expect different behaviour at this time of
- Turn your lights on before it is fully dark
- Reduce speed in adverse weather conditions - fog, rain and ice
- Check mirrors regularly
- Avoid overtaking when approaching a junction
- Don't intimidate other road users - give each other space when road conditions are poor
- Motorcyclists should wear appropriate clothing such as a reflective jacket and/ or bright coloured helmet
- Be prepared - look out for motorcyclist changes in behaviour as weather changes