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Motorcyclists are the safest motorists

British motorcyclists
British motorcyclists are safest road users

It is almost an undisputed fact that motorcyclists are the safest road users with a 2016 British survey providing further proof of our safety consciousness.

The survey asked a series of questions on bad driving habits. They include whether the motorist has ever sped, illegally used a phone while driving, drink-drove, changed lanes without indicating or other traffic sins.

Motorcycle riders came out on top as the safest while van drivers were at the bottom.

Despite media demonising riders as dangerous risk takers, this survey and others find riders are more concerned about safety than other motorists.

In 2015, another British survey found riders would perform better if they had to retake their road test theory exam than car drivers. The 2014 British Association of Chief Police Officers report to the UK government confirms that motorcyclists are better motorists than drivers. The report even suggests more people should learn to ride so they are safer motorists.  And a 2013 Belgian road safety report says the more motorbikes on the road, the safer our roads would be.

In that survey, motorists were asked ‘Have You Ever’ to a series of traffic infringements and bad driving habits. It was commissioned by UK motor insurance specialists Staveley Head.

Here are some of the results:

  • Although motorcyclists came out as the safest, 90% still admitted to speeding but it was 5% lower than car drivers;
  • While riders don’t use their phones when riding, only a third said they used them when driving, compared with 59% of car drivers;
  • Shockingly, 20% of truck drivers admitted to taking a selfie while driving compared with 8% of riders;
  • Motorcyclists are the least likely to drink and drive or ride at 28% compared with truck drivers (59%), van drivers (57%) and car drivers (42%); and
  • 33% of van drivers admitted to clipping/scratching someone’s car by accident and driving off. Only 19% of motorcyclists admitted to this. But we’ll forgive them … they were probably pinned in by a car not leaving them room to filter!

Our view on why riders are safety conscious

We agree that riders are the safest road users. We have to be. The consequences of not paying full attention, riding sober and being properly trained are dire.

We’ve seen how distracted drivers endanger us so we wouldn’t do the same to other motorists. We ride to enjoy ourselves, not to get from A to B, so we are concentrating on riding, not on distractions to pass the time.

Riders are also more likely to seek advanced training than other motorists.

And even though we are only legally required to wear a helmet, most of us also choose to wear other protective gear such as jackets, boots, gloves and pants.

Ok, some of us may speed occasionally, but we seem to do it when we assess the risks are low. We prefer to concentrate on the road and the conditions, rather than our speedos and some officially nominated speed limit.

That doesn’t make us reckless, but focussed.


  1. I ride two motorcycles, on & off road, drive a blind van, (just to clarify, not me blind, the van is blind as no side windows ), also drive a small hatchback, ride a pushbike, would fly a plane if it was an option…my question is for some reason you didn’t throw in the dangly or inner bits of human anatomy this time…male vs female drivers, young vs old aswell. I happen to be, as two worlds collided once; born a female. Funny thing though regarding the van, my car has had quite a few hits & scrapes in carparks from persons who simply cannot manouvere their vehicles. Males in my family kin loved machines, cars & bikes, some fairly fast ones. They had exhileratingly fast & tetering on the edge of sanity driving skills. I was partial to this. UIsually the cars had no seatbelts, definately no airbags, were solid steel construction, red hot, compressed asbestos brake pads & instead of phones, there was the cb radio. I feared everyone my Dad drove within a bees dick behind as his smash em up speedway mindset transferred to the road. Much tamer in his nomad mobile these days he is the pottering ol man he used to tailgate. Anyhow, this style of statistical article amuses me once again, appears to be a regurgitated reinvention of the wheel with a few new modern day hazards such as phone gadgets thrown in to make it more complex. Thems the breaks. Nothing conclusive. Throw me the keys.

    1. It’s not about “reinventing the wheel” and tell me something I don’t know. It’s about continuously repeating to the idiots in charge of “road safety” that motorcyclists are not the scourge of the road that they would have have the rest of the dimwitted populace believe. If we can say it often enough and loud enough maybe, just maybe they’ll get the message. But motorcyclists are mainly a bunch of unorganized, apathetic disparate whingers. And before you all get on your high horses and pen your outrage, take a look in the mirror and tell yourself a few truths.

      1. weirdly enough this is the only whinging comment I’ve seen here – which makes you the disparate whinger…but I will admit to being apathetic about your opinion 🙂

        1. DrHardware, I cannot agree with your sentiment more. Classic reply. I love it. I live to ride and ride so that I can be alive to ride another day. The other grumpy is simply not appreciating that the article comes from an organised group who are out the/here to promote safety of motorcyclists. mmmmmm, disorganised I do not think. #ridesafely4me

  2. Stands to reason.

    We understand the elements of the environment, including moods of the roads we travel.

    Our bodies and lives depend upon it.

    Unlike most who’s lives are dependant upon seat belts, airbags, and a cage around them.

    Grumpy Old Bastard
    Ride free and safe.

  3. Motorcycles are in fact the safest vehicle on the road.
    When was the last time you herd of a motorcycle ploughing through a house and killing or maiming the occupants?
    Fall asleep on a bike you fall over and hurt or kill yourself
    Fall asleep in a multi wheeled vehicle and you could kill a bus load of people.
    Hit a pedestrian with a bike and they have to be unlucky to get badly hurt or killed. Hit a pedestrian with a truck and they might be unlucky to live.

      1. Agreed Mark, thats where the discrimination starts against motorcycle riders and just be comes greater. Who made these rules? In other countries eg Asia and European countries motorcycles are encouraged more so because of the economic gains, less pollution easier to get around.

  4. Self reports about illegal behaviour – useless data. Give me data about what riders do and its effects.

  5. ‘It is almost an undisputed fact that motorcyclists are the safest road users…’ I think there are many government transport-related agencies in dispute with this ‘fact’, Vicroads, for example.

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