Every motorcycle accident is one accident too many. We all know that motorcyclists get the worst deal in any accident. Sometimes a long duration of no-incident riding can make us forget that we are by far one of the most at-risk commuters. Let’s take a good hard look at the facts on motorcycle accidents to keep our senses alert on the road.
Here are some of the most recent statistics from Singapore Traffic Police to show what you are up against.
Motorcyclists make up the smallest group of vehicles on the road. There is one motorcycle for every six vehicles in Singapore. In 2015, 4,875 motorcyclists and their pillion riders were injured in an accident. That is a five per cent rise from the year before. Unfortunately, 40 per cent of these accidents happened through the fault of the rider. It is disheartening to know that they also make up almost half of all deaths in a traffic accident last year, especially when riders make up only 17 per cent of vehicles on the road.
The top three reasons for accidents involving motorcyclists, as cited by the Singapore Traffic Police, were:
- failure to keep a lookout
- failure to keep proper control of motorbike
- not giving way to traffic with the right of way.
If you want a gruesome dose of reality, know that one motorcyclist dies on our roads every five days. That is very sobering if you think of your life span as being ‘renewed’ every five days as long as you ride your bike.
It is good to remind yourself that you are essentially invisible to most motorists, especially large vehicles like trucks and buses. It doesn’t matter how colourful your motorbike is. Drivers here are known to be careless in checking their blind spots, especially when turning or changing lanes.
Please take extra precautions even if you think you have the right of way. In the case of an accident, you always get the worse deal, no matter how right you are. This is especially true if you are riding a small capacity bike. They tend to have poor braking ability and high-skid factor.
Avoid lane 1 of the expressways. It is the riskiest position for any rider. Also, it’s just not worth lane splitting at high speeds.
For more on safe riding tips, check out our previous blog post.
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