Motorcycle accidents are twice to three times more likely to be fatal as bike or car accidents. So it emerges from the latest statistical analysis of the IBSR (L’Institut belge pour la Sécurité Routière – the Belgian road safety institute – whose role is partly to collect such data). The organisation draws four main conclusions from this study. Firstly, motorcyclists are the road users most likely to be involved in fatal accidents, particularly in Wallonia. Secondly, over a quarter (26%) of accidents involve lone bikers. Nearly three quarters of motorcycling accidents take place between April and October. The final and fourth conclusion drawn by the IBSR is that a large majority of motorcyclists involved in accidents are men aged between 20 and 50 years, there being two peaks between 25 and 29 years old and between 50 and 54 years old.
The fact that more than one in four accidents involves a lone motorcyclist shows that it is absolutely necessary to master riding skills, particularly for avoidance manoeuvres and emergency braking. The IBSR continues to stress,“ Of course, it comes back to other road users paying closer attention to motorbikes and mopeds, especially now we’re at the beginning of the ‘motorcycle season’.”
Jacqueline Galant, the Transport Minister, says, “…increasingly people are seduced by motorbikes and mopeds.” As spring approaches, the Liberal (MR) minister advises motorcyclists who wish to hit the road, “…to ensure that their vehicle is in full working order. Indeed why not also take a practical refresher course to polish up on the correct driving habits?”
Although the number of motorcycle registrations has increased by 30% in recent years, the number of accidents has, in fact, decreased by an encouraging 25%. Motorcyclist safety has improved, although there are still 3,600 accidents every year, which equates to an average of ten a day.