Riders Less Likely to Risk Drinking
23rd November 2009
While one in six deaths on our roads
are caused by drivers over the legal alcohol limit,
motorcyclists are half as likely as other motorists
to take the risk of drinking before riding, according
to the MCI, marking the start of Road Safety Week
The latest analysis of drink-drive statistics show
that in 2008, of the motorcycle riders tested following
an accident, 1.4 per cent failed a breathalyser test
compared to an average of 2.7 per cent for all road
user casualties as a whole (2).
The MCI is supporting Road Safety Week 2009’s
call to all road users to commit to not drink even
a drop of alcohol before driving, nor consume any
other illegal drug, to help reduce the number of accidents
and casualties on British roads.
For road users as a whole, the group most likely
to drink and drive were those under 17, with 11.8
per cent of young people in this age band failing
the test. Only 1.2 per cent of these positive tests
were given by young motorcyclists.
Motorcyclists aged between 20 and 24 were most likely
to fail a breath test, with 2.4 per cent of tests
taken by riders in this age band positive for alcohol.
However, this figure is still less than half that
of the average for all road users between 20 and 24,
of whom 5 per cent gave a breath test positive for
In 2007, at least 15,935 people in the UK were killed
or hurt by drink and drug-drivers. That’s: 1,328
people every month, 306 people every week, 44 people
every day, 2 people every hour.
In 2007, 478 people were killed by drivers over the
drink-drive limit in the UK. Women are much less likely
than men to cause drink drive crashes. However, nearly
a third of the casualties in drink drive crashes are
women; often passengers in cars driven by young men.Nearly
one in six convicted drink-drivers are caught the
The MCI advises:-
- Never drink any amount of alcohol if you’re
riding. You don’t have to be over the limit
for your skills to be impaired.
- Never drink late at night if you’re riding
early the next morning. If you get caught out later
than you thought, take the bus or go pillion next
- Don’t let mates drink and ride.
- Don’t hassle anyone into accepting a drink
they don’t want.
Sheila Rainger, MCI Director of Communications, said,
“The demands of riding a motorcycle are greater
than those of driving a car and it is good to see
the majority of motorcyclists recognizing this fact
by refusing to mix drinking and riding.
“However, there is no room for complacency.
As vulnerable road users, motorcyclists need to stay
sharp. The MCI is backing the Road Safety Week 2009
call to all riders to commit to ‘not a drop,
not a drag’ before starting the engine, and
as Christmas party season approaches, urging riders
to be aware that alcohol can stay in your system well
into the morning after.”