Protect yourself and buy the best gear you can afford this autumn and winter.
That’s the message from 2Wheels London ahead of the clocks changing later this week.
Evidence shows there is an increase in risk faced by riders between November and January – following the autumnal clock change, which brings with it an hour less of daylight in the evenings.
In November 2020, there were 6,985 motorcycle casualties per billion miles travelled – compared to 5,638 in September 2020 and the annual average of 5,544.
The number increased further in December 2020 (7,265).
Meanwhile in London, although riders account for 3% of vehicle kilometres travelled, they disproportionally comprise 32% of all fatalities.
Alongside less daylight, autumn and winter typically brings with it a greater chance of adverse weather conditions.
Rain, ice and snow test a rider’s skills to the maximum, and in these conditions 2Wheels London encourages riders to lower their speed, use clear and early signalling and be extra vigilant at all times. Keeping a safe distance from other road users is also critical.
Liz Brooker, chair of 2Wheels London, said: “Whatever the time of the year, it is important to stay safe, wear clothing that will protect you in all weathers and all situations.
“Even at low speeds – coming off your bike can be a painful experience. The minimum you need is a helmet that conforms to British Standard BS 6658:1985 and carry the BSI Kitemark, strong boots, proper biking gloves. A proper motorbike jacket will offer you protection. Wear the best safety equipment you can afford when you’re riding.
Colin Brown, director of campaigns and political engagement for the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), said: “It doesn’t take a genius to realise that shorter days, long nights and poor weather can all combine to increase the risk to an already vulnerable road user.
“It is vital that drivers take extra care to search out the riders amongst the confusing glare of headlights, but it also makes sense for riders to take sensible steps to protect themselves. We all have a role to play in making the roads as welcoming and environment as possible.
“I am glad to say that most riders understand the need to ride defensively. It also makes sense to prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best. Above all let’s all make our roads ‘Welcoming Roads’.”
28 October 2021