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Road death statistics show causes

road death - Motorcycle crash motorcycle fatalities insurance

Despite what authorities tell us about riders killing themselves in single-vehicle crashes, Australian road death statistics for the past couple of years prove the opposite.

Government statistics show that of the 187 riders and five pillions killed last year, only 40% of crashes were single-vehicle accidents, which is down from 49% the previous year.

Most motorcycle crashes last year involved a car, while 14 were collisions with trucks and two with buses.

SMIDSY crash - road death

Most fatal motorcycle crashes also occurred around town where bikes are more vulnerable to being hit by other vehicles, not on highways and sparsely populated country areas.

Some 89% or 109 of all bike fatalities occurred in speed zones of 70km/h or below and none occurred on the Northern Territory’s 130km/h speed zones. So much for “speed kills”.

Clearly, there is more need for education campaigns for motorists to look out for motorcyclists.

As expected, the most lethal days to go riding were over the weekend with Saturday on 42, Sunday (38) and Friday (33), while the safest day was Thursday (18). Similarly, spring and summer months were the most dangerous and April the safest month as there are more riders out on the roads.

Unfortunately, reflecting the growing popularity of riding among women, females represented 10 of the 187 riders who died, compared with 7 of 201 riders last year.

Road deaths 2014

  • Riders 187 (201 in 2013)
  • Pillions 5 (12)
  • Cyclists 45 (49)
  • Drivers 532 (567)
  • Passenger 229 (202)
  • Pedestrians 151 (157)

Bike fatalities by state

  • ACT 2 (2 in 2013)
  • NSW 59 (71)
  • NT 6 (6)
  • Qld 35 (42)
  • SA 11 (12)
  • Tas 3 (10)
  • Vic 30 (41)
  • WA 41 (25)
  1. It would also be interesting to see the number of pillions injured, and the
    number of those making a claim against the riders 3rd party insurance
    ie when the rider is at fault. And see if there is a reason for the outrageously
    high premiums.
    Also as one who enjoys riding the quieter country roads, and seeing the appalling
    road behaviour of some country “locals” I often wonder how many “single vehicle
    accidents ” are just that

      1. No some are for RIDER, FATAL crashes and others for MOTORCYCLE (including pillion). Your State break up is titled bikes when the figures are for riders and do not include pillions. Yet your analysis for “lethal days” includes both riders and pillions. You are correct in that Saturday is statistically the most LETHAL day yet crash data (both fatalities and non-fatalities) clearly indicate more CRASHES on Sunday afternoon. Did you notice that 60% of pillions died in speed zones of 100kph? Perhaps you also noticed that 48% of all motorcycle fatalities were for persons aged 40 years and older.

        1. Just as valid to say 52% of fatalities were under 40 years old. There are more riders over 40 than under 40 these days so the data still infers ‘younger’ riders are more at risk. We can interpret the data however we like and make a point by inverting any data we want. Fact is data is skewed towards speed being involved in a major way without any of the base data and methodology being made available. We all know its about speed camera revenue and nothing to do with safety.

  2. Careful with attacking statistics. When you misinterpret the data yourself (as you do here) you damage your otherwise strong case.

    I am referring to fatalities per speed zone. I absolutely agree that speed kills is the wrong focus. However. The fact there are more deaths in zones under 70kph than in the NT 130 zone has no meaning. You must first divide the number of fatalities by the number of rider journeys in each zone.

    I would be stunned if it turned out that 109/70kph zone riders wasn’t tiny. The only thing that saves you is the 0 deaths in NT 130 zone. 1 death would ruin your argument.

    Instead I’d like this answer – % of deaths where rider was over the speed limit vs cars that were over the limit vs speeds corrected for prevailing conditions.

  3. Do the statistics also include off-road, unlicensed rider, unregistered bike figures?
    Here in the ACT last year they said that almost 50% of the injury/death vehicle accidents involved unlicensed drivers/unregistered vehicles.

  4. Unfortunatley, the statistics you are quoting do not represent the circumstances of the other 60% or so of rider and other vehicle involved collisions and fatalities. Neither do we have the data for non fatalities quoted here, so unfortunately although you may indeed have some merit in your claim, you cannot determine that or rather I should say demonstrate it from these statistics.
    Whilst there are a high number of single vehicle incidents involving motorcycles and a representative percentage will result in fatalities, there are also a high number of incidents involving motorcycles and other vehicles that will demonstrate a high number of fatalities and injuries and these may also have been contributed to by the actions of the rider as well as the driver or solely by the driver or solely by the rider. Just by quoting these statistics we are not able to determine culpability in multi vehicle accidents and we certainly cannot establish that all multi vehicle accidents involving motorcycles are always caused by other vehicles.
    Unfortunately the data here will not show that and it would be grasping to claim as such, however if there were more detailed data then you might be able to prove that…or rather you may not also.

  5. You might want to check that math again.

    “Some 89% or 109 of all bike fatalities occurred in speed zones of 70km/h or below”

    89% of 192 fatalities (inc.pillion) = 109?

    Not 170.88?

  6. I think it interesting when we look at the definition of speed related. Really if oil is on the road and a Motorcyclists falls and leaves the road this can be classified as a speed related, even if the bike was only doing 10 kph ! Speed is clearly an excuse for not dealing with the issues. I am not an advocate for higher speed limits but an advocate for truth, accountability and solutions. Too many drivers believe they are good drivers if they keep to the speed limit, this is just plain wrong . If we don’t tell and train people in good driving , when it clearly is the issue, we are culpable , my claim is that the pollies that rave on about speed killing are culpable of the crime of manslaughter. Perhaps this should be put to them to see how they like being held responsible for the problem not the solution.

    1. I wonder how many riders had a go pro recording at the time.
      It may have broader implications for dealing with the actual causes…eg oil on the road, poor road design or just plain stupidity by rider or driver.

      As a rider I’m alarmed at the number of riders killed on the roads this month. Another today ! that makes 18.
      If we all had video footage, then at least the deaths would have the chance to change roads policy.
      Personally, I’d like to see the trend in motorbike crashes historically in the month of Feb to see if this year is one out of the box. Certainly feels like it.

  7. Indicators on both bikes and cars needs to be a different colour. It is difficult to see the flashing light of indicatiors in some light, mostly in daylight hours. It would also help if ALL drivers and riders used their indicators EVERY TIME. It won’t wear them out and it doesn’t take much effort! I don’t undersand why people are so disrespectful of other road users.

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