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MCI Urges Drivers To 'Think Bike' In Winter Driving Conditions - December 21st 2006


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    The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) is urging motorists to follow sensible driving advice as the winter weather creates more hazardous driving conditions.

    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 headlights.

    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 year."

  1. Turn your lights on before it is fully dark
  2. Reduce speed in adverse weather conditions - fog, rain and ice
  3. Check mirrors regularly
  4. Avoid overtaking when approaching a junction
  5. Don't intimidate other road users - give each other space when road conditions are poor
  6. Motorcyclists should wear appropriate clothing such as a reflective jacket and/ or bright coloured helmet
  7. Be prepared - look out for motorcyclist changes in behaviour as weather changes