Essex is a great county for motorcycling; it is relatively affluent and has a strong resident motorcycling population. The south-east of England has the highest rates of motorcycle ownership in the country.
There is a tremendous amount to enjoy while biking in Essex but, sadly, the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) in our county is too high. Motorcyclists account for just 1% of the traffic on Essex roads, but are involved in around 26% of KSI collisions (2014 figures).
Motorcyclists face particular risks and, unlike a car, a motorcycle offers very little protection to the rider in the event of a collision. Therefore, even if death is avoided the injuries sustained can be very serious.
Motorcyclists make up the largest KSI group, entirely disproportionate to any other road user type. The Department for Transport and Essex Police statistics below highlight the extent of powered two wheeler (P2W) casualties in Essex over the last eight years.
The table shows that motorcycle fatalities have reduced significantly since 2007, against a general backdrop of increasing motorcycle ownership.
However, the number of KSIs is still too high and motorcyclists remain the most at-risk road user group – and in 2014 the number of KSIs increased by 27.6% year-on-year.
In 2015, we carried out detailed research into the P2W collisions in Essex during 2014 which showed:
- P2W riders involved in collisions tend to be young and male.
- Serious and slight injury collisions are concentrated in urban areas, and fatal collisions are more frequent on rural roads.
- 30mph urban single carriageway roads account for the majority of collisions, and 60 mph single carriageway rural roads account for the greatest risk of serious injury for any collisions that do occur.
- More than half (56%) of P2W riders were primarily at fault for their collision.
- Where collisions involved other vehicles, 61% were primarily the fault of the non-P2W driver.
- The types of contributory factors involved suggest P2W riders predominantly make errors relating to speed, recklessness, inexperience and observation, while other vehicle drivers are most likely to make observational errors.
SERP is committed to helping motorcyclists stay safe on the roads, and to this end we deliver a wide package of measures and assistance for riders themselves, and to raise awareness among other road users of the need to look out for motorcyclists.