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South West

The road safety partnership working hard to stop ALL fatal and serious collisions in Devon and Cornwall by 2040

Devon and Cornwall’s resident motorcycle rider involvement rate of 31.3 per 100,000 population is very similar to the GB rate of 32.1 and 11% higher than the South West region rate of 28.2.
East Devon has the lowest rate (22.9), compared to Plymouth with the highest rate of 46.5.

Motorcycle risk is highest among young adults from deprived families living in rented housing, particularly residents of Plymouth; although rural communities right across the peninsula also exhibit this trend.

Nationally, according to RoSPA, although motorcyclists only account for 1% of total road traffic, they account for around 18% of deaths on the road. They have a higher crash and injury rate than vehicle occupants because they do not benefit from all the protective features, such as seat belts, airbags and other impact protection features.

Although the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads has fallen substantially over the last few decades, motorcyclists are still 38 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic accident than car occupants per mile travelled, indicating that safety for motorcyclists has not improved as much as for car occupants.

In Great Britain in 2016, 2,001 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured per 1 billion vehicle miles, compared to 26 car drivers killed or seriously injured per 1 billion vehicle miles. Although only 30% of motorcycle accidents occurred on rural roads in 2016, 66% of fatalities occurred on these roads, indicating that these roads were particularly dangerous for motorcyclists.

Most accidents occur during the summer months, when most trips are made, and begin to fall in autumn. This is likely to be due to the fall in temperature and poorer weather, which could lead to fewer motorcycles on the road.

Motorcycle traffic increased by 2% during 2016 to 2.8 billion vehicle miles. Of the 19,297 motorcyclist casualties in 2016, 91% were male and 32% were aged 17-24, suggesting that those most at risk of being injured in a motorcyclist accident were young males.

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