New data reveals most common causes of crashes for UK motorcycles

New statistics have emerged from a study looking into road collisions in the UK by vehicle type. They include the most common collisions for motorcycles.


A study has revealed the most common manoeuvres to cause collisions in the UK for different vehicle types, including motorcycles, between 2012 and 2021. 

Motorcycles were, according to the study conducted by Forbes Advisor using data published in the Department for Transport's road casualties report for the years 2012-2021, the most common vehicle type to be involved in collisions which happened in five different categories: ‘Going ahead left-hand bend’, ‘Going ahead right-hand bend’, ‘Overtaking nearside’, ‘Overtaking moving vehicle offside’, and ‘Overtaking static vehicle offside’. This means that motorcycles were the most common vehicle type in more manoeuvre categories than any other vehicle type. Cars, for example, were the most common in four categories.

2023 Suzuki GSX-8S.jpg
2023 Suzuki GSX-8S.jpg

Aside from cars and motorcycles, vehicle categories included in the study included Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV), Light Goods Vehicles (LGV), Buses or coaches, and pedal cycles. With involvement in 8.01 per cent of all collisions between the studied period, motorcycles were second only to cars (72.91 per cent) in their involvement in all collisions. Pedal cycles were third in this category, at 7.90 per cent.

The top three manoeuvres which resulted in collisions for motorcycles were ‘Overtaking moving vehicle - offside’ (14,324 collisions), ‘Slowing or stopping’ (10,003 collisions’, and ‘Going ahead left-hand bend’ (8,992 collisions). ‘Slowing or stopping’ was in the top three for all vehicle categories, but ‘Overtaking moving vehicle - offside’ and ‘Going ahead left-hand bend’ were only featured in the top three for motorcycles.

The study also found that motorcycles faced the most disproportionate occurrence of collisions while overtaking and going ahead on bends.

Motorcycles had more than three-times the average number of collisions while overtaking on the nearside (321.93 per cent of the average); over three-and-a-half times the average while overtaking static vehicles on the offside (372.42 per cent of the average); and nearly four-times the average while overtaking a moving vehicle on the offside (399.55 per cent of the average). Additionally, motorcycles experienced collisions more often on left-hand corners (157.68 per cent of the average) than on right-hand turns (130.68 per cent of the average).

In total, although motorcycles were involved in only 8.01 per cent of total collisions, they were involved in 32 per cent of collisions caused by overtaking on the offside.

Suzuki GSX-8S vs Yamaha MT-07 Head-to-Head


Remote video URL

For a number of years now, new motorcyclists looking for a bike to enjoy after taking their test would turn to the Yamaha MT-07 as ...

Sponsored Content