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Nottinghamshire County Council - Proud of our past, ambitious for our future
A third of road fatalities involve someone who failed to look properly

Road safety for motorcyclists

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than car drivers and therefore need to 'ride defensively' and try to anticipate the actions of other road users.

Causes of accidents

Investigation of accidents involving motorcycles and mopeds in Nottinghamshire has shown there are three main causes of accidents:

  • Motorcycles losing control at a left or right hand bend - such as entering it too fast and not being able to handle the bike
  • Other vehicles failing to see a motorcycle when making a right hand turn
  • Motorcycles overtaking and filtering past turning vehicles.

If you are a motorcyclist you can help to minimise your risk of accident by taking note of the advice below.

Get yourself seen

Here are a few are easy ways to help drivers and other riders see you:

  • use dipped headlights, even in daylight
  • wear a white or brightly coloured helmet
  • wear bright clothing, ideally fluorescent during the day and reflective at night
  • adopt the appropriate position on the road.

Check your speed

When people pull out in front of you it may not be because they haven't seen you, but because you were travelling a lot faster than they expected.

Always ride at speeds that will enable you to slow down and stop in good time - especially when entering bends, coming up to junctions or overtaking. Remember to take special care in wet, foggy or icy conditions, as it takes a lot longer distance to stop and the road conditions may be slippery.


Having the right clothing, which protects you from the weather, will make you feel more comfortable and allow you to focus on your riding.

As well as wearing bright clothing that helps you to be seen, you should also make sure that it's appropriate. Appropriate means:

  • an approved helmet that fits securely - and is fastened up. Always replace it if you think it's damaged. Make sure that your visor is not dirty or scratched and don't wear a tinted visor or goggles at night
  • good clothing - meaning jacket, trousers, boots and gloves - even in summer. The best clothing to wear is CE safety standard marked and can help protect you from getting hurt if you come off.

Get the most out of your bike

It doesn't matter if you are fairly new to riding, have been riding for years, or if you have just come back to biking - what you need is up to date bike handling skills so that you ride more safely and get more out of your bike.

Get advice from professional instructors and you’ll learn from someone who spends all day every day on their bike and who knows how to pass on their knowledge to others.

We do not endorse any instructors but the Driving Standards Agency hold details of approved motorcycle instructors in the area. See the Driving Standards Agency website: www.dsa.gov.uk or tel: 0300 200 1122 for details.

The shiny side up partnership

The shiny side up partnership started in mid-2001 in response to a significant increase in fatal crashes involving sports bike riders in Nottinghamshire.  

The partnership is now made up of the following road safety practitioners in the East Midlands:

Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Leicester City Council, Leicestershire County Council, Northamptonshire County Council, Nottingham City Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Nottinghamshire Police, and Rutland County Council.

The aim of the Partnership is to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or injured on East Midlands' roads.

The shiny side up partnership has produced a number of resources, and promoted a range of events to engage the interest of sports bike riders. The campaign addresses the attitude and behaviour of the sports bike rider rather than promoting training. They also produce a free newsletter. To find out more, visit: www.shinysideup.co.uk

Bare Bones Project

If you are 16 to 19 years of age and ride a twist'n'go scooter or a 'ped' - then the Bare Bones project is here for you!

We have seen how popular these scooters are with young riders but the downside is the ever-increasing number of you that are being injured in crashes on your bikes. In the last few years in Nottinghamshire alone, collisions involving young riders have increased by a factor of four with many riders suffering abrasion injuries as serious as third degree burns.

It's easy to think that your scooter is just the next step up from a mountain bike but that's not true when it comes to collisions. A scooter gives you the power to get around at a fair speed, which is great until you come off! That's when you are going to hurt yourself really badly if you don't wear the right kind of gear.

Find out more on the Bare Bones website at: www.bare-bones.org
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