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Motorcyclist death toll on track for highest number in past 20 years

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  • #36946
    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    As reported by NZHerald.co.nz today.

    Given the significantly reduced numbers of foreign tourists due to Covid it’s obvious they are not the cause of many accidents.

    Motorcyclist death toll on track for highest number in past 20 years
    Luke Kirkness
    By: Luke Kirkness
    Multimedia Journalist, Bay of Plenty Times

    [email protected]
    @lukekirkness

    New Zealand is facing the deadliest toll for motorcyclists in two decades ahead of the busy festive season on our roads.

    Fifty-five motorcyclists have died through to December 21 this year, compared to 56 in 2019 – the highest number since 1997 when 57 died.

    It comes as taxpayers footed a $103.8 million bill from 4306 ACC motorcycle injury claims last year.

    Caroline Perry, director of road safety charity Brake, says an increase in motorcyclist deaths over the past few years is concerning.

    “So far this year the families of 55 motorcyclists have received the devastating news that their loved one will never be coming home again,” she said.

    “Whilst there have been some improvements in safety around motorcycles, there is still more work to do to bring deaths and injuries down.”

    Ministry of Transport data shows the number of motorcyclists who died between January 1 and December 21 is eerily close to matching last year’s record number.

    Fifty-four motorcycle riders and one passenger have died this year, compared to 53 riders and three passengers in 2019 – the most since 1997 when 57 total died.

    While there has been a drop in claims, the sales of motorcycles are estimated to reach 9000 in 2020 – the highest in the past decade.

    Motor Industry Association sales for newly registered motorcycles and mopeds for 2020, excluding December, is 8114.

    The highest sales in the past decade were in 2018 with 8565 but if current average sales continue, sales in 2020 will be well above the previous high.

    As of June 30, there were 160,742 registered motorcycles and 31,505 registered mopeds in New Zealand.

    More motorcycles on the road could increase the likelihood of having a crash but speed, the road, and other road users are also factors, Perry said.

    A police spokesperson says motorcyclists are “very vulnerable road users” given the lower levels of protection they have in a crash compared to an occupant of a car.

    “A risky overtaking manoeuvre could mean instead of getting there faster, you don’t get there at all,” they said.

    “All road users should respect each other and be aware they each have responsibilities to uphold on the road.”

    Motorcycles can be harder to spot than other vehicles, especially when weather conditions are poor or in reduced light, Perry said.

    She asked road users to be mindful of motorcyclists and to always look twice, especially at intersections.

    In the past four years, ACC data shows there have been 2758 crashes involving a motorcycle or moped at urban intersections, resulting in 38 deaths.

    “Motorcycles are inherently more risky than a lot of other vehicles,” Perry said.

    “They can travel at similar speeds to cars and other vehicles but have fewer safety features and offer less protection in the event of a crash.

    “We urge all drivers to look twice for bikes, particularly at intersections. Also, make sure you check for bikes in your mirrors and blind spots before manoeuvring.”

    Wearing hi-vis could help prevent crashes, the police spokesperson says, who also advised motorcyclists to wear appropriate bodywear, “the road is unforgiving in a crash”.

    Both police and Perry thought motorcyclists should learn from programmes like ACC’s Ride Forever which offer great training and skills to riders of all levels.

    More than 23,000 riders have completed the course, with ACC data showing those who do are 27 per cent less likely to make crash-related injury claims.

    Motorcyclist crashes and casualties
    In 2019 there were …

    • 56 people motorcycling killed;
    • 470 people were seriously injured;
    • 972 people suffered minor injuries.

    In 2018 there were …

    • 53 people motorcycling killed;
    • 473 people were seriously injured;
    • 924 people suffered minor injuries.

    In 2017 there were …

    • 46 people motorcycling killed;
    • 511 people were seriously injured;
    • 820 people suffered minor injuries.

    In 2016 there were …

    • 52 people motorcycling killed;
    • 478 people were seriously injured;
    • 753 people suffered minor injuries.

    In 2015 there were …

    • 53 people motorcycling killed;
    • 424 people were seriously injured;
    • 809 people suffered minor injuries.

    Crashes and casualties data provided by the Ministry of Transport.

    Motorcycle sales in New Zealand (under and over 50cc)
    • Total bike sales: 8114 up to November 30, 2020;
    • Total bike sales: 8350 in 2019;
    • Total bike sales: 8565 in 2018;
    • Total bike sales: 8501 in 2017;
    • Total bike sales: 8312 in 2016;
    • Total bike sales: 8563 in 2015.

    Sales for newly registered motorcycles and mopeds in 2020 provided by Motor Industry Association.

    #36972
    bigkuri
    Participant
    • Bike: XR650R
    • Rank: 400cc Rider

    Is this really true? “It comes as taxpayers footed a $103.8 million bill from 4306 ACC motorcycle injury claims last year

    #36973
    Alan
    Participant
    • Bike: YAMAHA T7
    • Rank: 800cc Rider

    It would be interesting to have some stats around bike type and accidents – how many are Harleys and what portion do the Adventure bikes make up I wonder??

    #36974
    Eddieb
    Keymaster
    • Town/City: Tauranga
    • Bike: Suzuki DR650 ADV, BMW R100GS
    • Rank: Round the World Adventure Globetrotter

    @Warrick_Johnston said:
    Is this really true? “It comes as taxpayers footed a $103.8 million bill from 4306 ACC motorcycle injury claims last year

    Wow, an average of $24,100 per claim.

    #36982
    Kiwi Mo
    Participant
    • Rank: 250cc Rider

    Now. Take out all the off road bikes and the farmers bikes and the like.

    Or ask the pointy head rego fee pricing team. How about the bikes registered and ridden on the road. Why should they pay for ALL bike claims?

    #36990
    ian_mckenzie
    Participant
    • Rank: 125cc Rider

    ‘An average of $24,100.00 per claim’.
    Politics and personal option of who should be paying for what, put aside.
    If you think of the average broken bone e.g. a leg is quite a common motorbike injury, you’re looking at an average of 6 to 8 weeks of recovery before the start of gradually returning to work. So, to start, on a salary of about 80k pa, 80% of wages is paid by ACC over the time of incapacity – around 10k over 8 weeks. Then there is the cost of hospital stay, surgery, physio rehab and so on. So, yes an average $24,100.00 per claim is reasonable. Unfortunately motorcycle accidents often result in the riders sustaining multiple injuries so the cost will no doubt increase! However the cost is significantly reduced in the case of death.
    One thing their stats don’t seem to indicate is fault, however when you’re sprawled out on the road fault isn’t a priority.
    We are a vulnerable group of road users on the ever increasingly faster roads. I always go out with the mindset everyone is out to kill me even in the back roads!

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