2Wheels Greater Manchester urges riders to gear up this winter

Protect yourself and buy the best gear you can afford this autumn and winter.

That’s the message from 2Wheels Greater Manchester ahead of the clocks changing later this week.

Evidence shows there is an increase in risk faced by riders between November and January – following the autumnal clock change, which brings with it an hour less of daylight in the evenings.

In November 2020, there were 6,985 motorcycle casualties per billion miles travelled – compared to 5,638 in September 2020 and the annual average of 5,544.

The number increased further in December 2020 (7,265).

Alongside less daylight, autumn and winter typically brings with it a greater chance of adverse weather conditions.

Rain, ice and snow test a rider’s skills to the maximum, and in these conditions 2Wheels Greater Manchester encourages riders to lower their speed, use clear and early signalling and be extra vigilant at all times. Keeping a safe distance from other road users is also critical.

Karen Delaney, from Safer Roads Greater Manchester, said: “Whatever the time of the year, it is important to always wear the correct protective clothing. Sadly over the last 36 months we have seen 313 riders or pillions killed or seriously injured and a further 425 slightly injured on our roads.

“We are seeing younger riders being killed or seriously injured on lower engine bikes under 125 cc which they often buy for commuting to work and these casualties concern us greatly and we continue to always remind other road users to look out for motorcyclists especially when the clocks change and the nights become longer.

“While there’s no greater feeling than climbing on your moped or motorbike and going for a ride, taking a tumble – even at low speeds – can be a painful experience.

“You need a helmet, strong and sturdy boots, proper biking gloves and a trouser/jacket combination that will offer your skin and bones some protection in the event of a fall – which can happen to even the most experienced rider.”

Colin Brown, director of campaigns and political engagement for the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), said: “It doesn’t take a genius to realise that shorter days, long nights and poor weather can all combine to increase the risk to an already vulnerable road user.

“It is vital that drivers take extra care to search out the riders amongst the confusing glare of headlights, but it also makes sense for riders to take sensible steps to protect themselves.

“We all have a role to play in making the roads as welcoming and environment as possible. I am glad to say that most riders understand the need to ride defensively. It also makes sense to prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best.

“Above all let’s all make our roads ‘Welcoming Roads’.”

28 October 2021

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