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Helping Motorists To See The Human Behind The Motorbike Rider’s Visor

Motorcycle helmet
14th May 2014
According to a spokesman for “Someone’s Son” (a ‘Safer Roads Yorkshire’ campaign) who presented at the three-day National Motorcycle Conference, August 2012:

• Over 70 per cent of riders injured in the Yorkshire & Humber region were residents within that area.
• Around 75 per cent killed or seriously injured riders involved another vehicle, regardless of fault.
• Those injured were generally male, in the 30-50 age group.

The National Motorcycle Conference aimed to bring together those individuals and organisations who are, “Engaged in making the roads safer for use by powered two-wheeled riders”. Crucial questions to be raised would address issues concerning, “Improvements that can be made to the road network to help riders” and “How to make drivers more aware and understand motorcyclists”.

As a consequence of increasingly congested roads, rising fuel, motoring and public transport costs, an increasing number of people have taken to riding motorcycles for their daily commute to and from work. The recent findings are firmly linked to the ‘Safer Roads Yorkshire’ campaign principle of ‘humanising riding’ for all road users, “...to encourage better understanding and awareness”.

From recent research, it has been suggested that there was less likelihood of an accident to occur between a vehicle driver and a motor cyclist who knew each other.

By focusing on the motorcycle rider as, “someone who you could know or a friend or relative of someone you know”, the key principle is reinforced that, “They have relationships and people that depend on them”. Motorists are reminded to, “Think about how and why riders behave as they do – most are just trying to have an efficient journey”.

It’s not uncommon for defendants contesting a motorbike personal injury claims are still high. A change in a vehicle driver’s instinctive lack of empathy simply because they see a motorbike rider who wears a helmet and visor entirely covering his face as ‘inhuman’, is a valuable message. The need to humanise and personalise motorbike riders to other road users can represent a vital change of gear in the improvement of road behaviour.