GEM tells drivers to expect bikes at junctions

The road safety organisation GEM has advised motorists to expect to see a motorcycle at a junction, in a bid to reduce ‘SMIDSY’ type incidents

onboard riding footage

ROAD SAFETY and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to take extra care at junctions, in an attempt to reduce collisions with motorcyclists.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “Around 30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions, usually because of a driver observation error which some years ago picked up the nickname ‘SMIDSY’ – sorry mate, I didn’t see you.

“Experts point out that as drivers we’re not very good at identifying motorcyclists because they occupy such a small part of our field of vision. What’s more, if we’re not expecting to see one, then the chance of spotting one coming towards us is further reduced, and the risk of a collision is greatly increased.”

“Summertime sees many roads becoming busier with weekend riders, but let’s make a point of looking out for them at every junction, on every journey. In doing so, we will be greatly reducing this risk, and helping them to be less vulnerable on their journeys.

“So before pulling out of junctions, look carefully all around. Make a specific check for motorcyclists coming towards you. They’re not always easy to spot – but if you’re expecting them to be there, then you’re far more likely to see them in good time… and prevent a potentially serious collision.”

How to avoid a SMIDSY

Three tips for drivers

  • Before pulling out at any junction, expect a motorcyclist – maybe more than one – to be coming towards you.
  • Have a really good look, and don’t pull out unless you are 100% sure there’s nothing coming.
  • Keep both hands on the wheel and look directly at an approaching rider. This can help show that you’re not putting the car in gear to move off.

Three tips for riders

  • Take a position closer to the centre line of the road, as this will help make you more visible.
  • As you approach a junction, consider weaving in your lane space if it’s safe. Changing your position makes you much easier for a driver to spot than if you’re maintaining a straight line. It may look erratic, but it’s much more likely to ensure a driver ‘clocks’ your presence.
  • If you see a car waiting to turn, assume the driver hasn’t seen you. Have an escape route ready, or be prepared to stop if it will help avoid a collision.

Motorcycle collision statistics

  • 92% of crash victims are male
  • 37% of riders are aged 25 and under
  • Motorcyclists account for 20% of all road fatalities. In 2018, 354 motorcyclists lost their lives in road collisions.
  • Sunday is the day when most fatal crashes occur
  • 83% of collisions took place in excellent weather conditions
  • 58% of all collision claims occur on 50-125cc motorcycles

(sources: DfT Reported Road Casualties Great Britain,

Ducati Panigale V4S - 2019 Review