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New single point of truth document reveals the real facts about motorcycle safety

By Mario

Think you know the facts around motorcycling in New Zealand? Things like the causes of accidents, which ‘bikes are crashed most often, that kind of thing? A new, single source of data makes accessing the facts much easier.

There’s no shortage of people willing to tell you what they know about motorcycling, ranging from crash rates to who’s to blame. Much of it sounds plausible: perhaps it fits with our experience or what we’ve heard anecdotally. The trouble is, a lot of what many riders ‘know’ is – like 76% of all statistics – made up on the spot. 

Previously, finding out the actual facts and figures wasn’t an easy exercise because much of the data existed in separate places, and a lot of it wasn’t directly comparable. Even for those of us involved professionally, it was a hard task pulling it all together, making it coherent and providing links or back-up material. With so many conversations going on, online and in person, having one, easily-accessible source of information available seemed like a very good idea. 

And now it exists. In the shape of a new document called ‘Motorcycle Safety. A Single Point of Truth’. Created by MSAC and ACC, it brings together data on motorcycling from ACC, Ministry of Transport, NZ Transport Agency, NZ Police and National Health Statistics.

Wherever possible, data has been given the same baselines to aid comparisons and show real trends. Some of it might prove an eye-opener. Take the received wisdom that car drivers cause the majority of motorcycle accidents. No they don’t. It turns out, motorcyclists are solely or primarily responsible for the crashes they’re involved in 56% of the time. Though, if the crash involves another vehicle, it’s more likely the other road user was at fault.

Think age and experience makes riders safer? Well, it’s true that those aged 29 or under account for a lot of casualties, then it drops off markedly at 30. But then it rises again, for every five-year cohort, until peaking at 50-54 before dropping again at ages 55-59. 

What sort of motorcycles do you think are most likely to be involved in a fatal crash? Well, it sure isn’t adventure bikes, showing up in just 3% of all fatal accident records. If you want to impress your mates with your knowledge of all things motorcycling, settle pub arguments or even set a few trivia questions, this new document is just the job:
Download 'Motorcycle Safety: A Single Point of Truth (1.2MB)' from the MSAC website