With warmer weather upon us motorcycling enthusiasts are expected to take to the roads in greater numbers, prompting a rider safety reminder from RACV.
TAC figures show that of the 252 people killed on Victoria’s roads in 2015, 30 were riders and pillion passengers of motorcycles.
This represented 12 per cent of the road toll despite motorcycles only making up about four per cent of all vehicles registered with VicRoads. This has already been a horrific year for motorcyclists, with 43 deaths on our roads.
The latest RACV Insurance motorcycle claims data has revealed that while the increase in motorcyclists insured with RACV was higher than the claims growth, there was still room for improvement.
The number of RACV motorcycle insurance policy holders grew by six per cent from 30 June 2015 to 30 June 2016. Across Victoria, motorcycle insurance claims rose five per cent in 2015/16 compared to the previous year, the RACV Insurance figures show.
The insurance data also revealed that motorcycle rider error was behind half of the collisions that resulted in motorcycle owners lodging insurance claims.
The most common type of motorcycle claim in the 2015/16 financial year for RACV Insurance were collisions where the rider of the insured motorcycle was at fault, followed by crashes where no other party was involved – such as the rider losing control of the motorcycle and hitting a post or tree.
It prompted RACV General Manager Motor Insurance Mark Geraghty to warn riders to take care.
“We can help motorcyclists cover the cost of a collision if they have appropriate insurance, but what we really want to avoid is seeing road users injured or even killed,” he said.
“We would urge all road users to be careful at all times when riding or driving and always staying within the speed limit. It is important that all road users are conscious of others around them, particularly when turning, overtaking and changing lanes.
"VicRoads registration data tells us that there are approximately 67,000 more motorbikes registered today than 10 years ago. An increasing number of people using motorcycles, in combination with heavy traffic congestion in inner city areas, is likely to be a significant factor behind increases in collisions," Mr Geraghty said.
“RACV encourages road users to be alert at all times and to be especially aware of potential hazards such as blind corners, crests and intersections.
Meanwhile, RACV Insurance data shows that a majority of motorcycle claims relate to collisions, theft of motorcycles also increased by 11 per cent overall in 2015/16. Thefts where the motorcycle was not recovered rose by 45 per cent.
Mr Geraghty urged owners to make sure they park motorcycles in well-lit areas, using designated motorcycle parking areas where possible.
“Research suggests that two thirds of all motorcycles are stolen from residential locations, so try to park behind locked gates or in a garage when you can,” he said.
“Secure your motorcycle using a steering lock and consider installing an engine immobiliser to ensure the bike cannot be ridden away."