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Who are safer riders – men or women?

Motorcycle couple

Women are safer riders then men according to statistics, so we asked women why that is so and give you some tips on how you can become a safer rider.

According to the ABS, there are almost 745,000 motorcycles registered in Australia for 2013. Staggeringly, this number is an increase of 31.2% since 2008! From 2012 to 2013 alone, there was a 5% increase for motorcycle registrations compared to only 2.2% for passenger vehicles. With so many more motorcycles on the road, the likelihood of a motorcycle accident increases. Also, given that female motorcycle riders are on the rise, a hot topic at the dinner table for motorcycling enthusiasts has become a battle of the sexes. Are men or are women safer motorcycle riders?

Safer riders: Women riders
Women are safer riders than men

In 2012, the University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety research unit conducted a study which found that women are safer riders than men. The report was alarming because research found that men were 1.6 to 1.7 times more likely to be killed on the road than women. More specifically, and according to experts, male motorbike riders around the country get into more motorcycling accidents than women. In Victoria alone, 93% of motorcycle riders killed in 2012 were men. However, on a more positive note, there was an 11.4% decrease in both male and female motorcyclist deaths on Australian roads from September 2012 to September 2013.

One possible reason for all of this might be partly due to the fact that men do a lot more driving than women. Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show female drivers account for just one-third of total motor vehicle travel on Australian roads.

Safer riders: Women riders
Women riders travel less than men

Another reason could be that male riders have been found by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research to account for more than 72 per cent of all driving offences logged by police in NSW for the past 12 months.

The truth is that all motorbike riders, whether you are comparing men or women, are not immune from motorcycle accidents. So the question should instead be: How can we all become safer riders?

Here are our top 5 tips to becoming safer motorcycle riders:

Wear the right gear
Wearing the proper gear is essential for safe riding. Don’t leave home without your helmet and wear leather clothing gear including jackets, pants and gloves as they can offer you the protection you need when it comes to resisting abrasion.

Stay focused
Things happen fast out there on the road and you have to be prepared for them. Keep an eye out for cars suddenly changing lanes or pulling out from side streets. Keeping a safe following distance from cars is critical, both to ensure you have enough stopping distance and so you have time to react to obstacles in the road. If you see any potential hazards in the road, evaluate them and execute the proper action to avoid.

Adjust your riding when necessary
Take more caution in the rain or gusty winds. If you find yourself riding along a dirt track, be especially gentle with the brakes, throttle and steering to avoid sliding.


Safer riders: Wear the right gear
Wear the right gear

Know and regularly check your motorbike
Spending a few minutes checking your bike before you go on a ride can go a long way. Check the level of the tyre pressure and the tyres for any wear and tear. Ensure your oil and fuel levels are at the optimal level and test that your brakes are in working order. Also, make sure your lights, horn and directional signals are working properly.

Increase your visibility to others
Too often motorists don’t see motorcyclists because they aren’t looking out for them. Making yourself as visible as possible can help prevent collisions. Keeping your headlights on, wearing bright and reflective clothing and using your indicators at all times are some ways to increase your visibility. And safe riders will tell you that they never ride in the blind spot of a car.

  • This article is presented by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as InsureMyRide. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.
  1. They are interesting findings. I know that when I ride, I like to ride fast. And I ride for the thrill. But I am also cautious – if that makes sense. I’ve always suited up and worn the right gear. I am fastidious about my tyres and making sure the bike is safe to ride. I ride to the conditions without fail.
    I don’t know if that’s any different to how guys approach things but anecdotally and only from what I’ve seen, I think guys tend to take a few more risks.
    It might also have something to do with the different types of bikes we ride. Guys tend to ride bikes with more power…

  2. Do you have a link to the study? I’m interested in the statistics quoted. Cheers!

    1. There are no web links to the article, however, you can contact the University of New South Wales Transport and Road Safety research unit (main office phone: +61 2 9385 5774) and ask to speak to road safety chair Professor Raphael Grzebieta or anyone involved in the study.

  3. 12% of motorcycle owners are female
    85% of those female owners own a cruiser
    Women on average ride much less (miles) than men
    Women riders generally take less risk and ride slower and sober and only under favorable riding conditions – like good weather, light traffic and familiar roads
    Women don’t indulge in exhibitions like running lights, wheelies, drag racing, high lane splitting , running red lights, speeding and trying to out run cops.
    Conclusion, women are cautious and boring riders who should not be riding motorcycles, as it defeats the spirit of riding.

  4. Of course men get into more wrecks, more men ride motorcycles! This study did NOT take the % of men and women riders into account.

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