The vast majority of motorists give motorcyclists more room on the road but most are surprised when they appear out of nowhere, a new survey reveals.
More than half (57%) the 21,000 AA members polled said they are often taken by surprise by the appearance of a motorbike, even though 92% recognise that riders are vulnerable and always give them more space to cut the risk of road traffic accidents.
Although 88% say they always look out for motorcyclists, almost the same proportion (85%) said they are sometimes be difficult to spot.
Numbers dangerously low?
Just over half of the car drivers surveyed for the AA by Populus said they would be more aware of motorcyclists if there were a lot more on the roads, while 13% said if that was the case they would even consider using a motorbike themselves.
Meanwhile, two-fifths of those polled said they think bikers are inconsiderate with the proportion rising to 46% among drivers in London.
Speaking at a motorcycle conference in London, AA president Edmund King said it is vital that UK motorists are more aware about the possible presence of motorbikes and cycles on the roads.
Bikers are ‘forgotten cousins’
He said: “It is worrying that half of all drivers are often caught out by ‘invisible’ motorcycles seemingly coming out of nowhere. Motorcyclists also need to always be aware that they might not be seen.”
Mr King said although everyone “from the Prime Minister downwards” had spoken recently about the need to improve safety for cyclists, motorbike riders appear to be the “forgotten cousins”.
But he said with motorbikes, scooters and mopeds playing a vital role in helping to cut road congestion in towns and cities across the country, a “step change” is needed in people’s attitude towards them.
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