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October 2021 is Motorcycle Awareness Month

Motorcycle Awareness Month is an initiative of Motorcycle Council of NSW (MCC of NSW), run in October each year. The theme is ‘Look Out For Motorcycles’ and we continue to remain focused on making drivers and other road users aware of our presence on the road.

Motorcycle Awareness Month is aimed at educating motorists to scan the road and watch for motorcycles.

Motorcycles are the less visible vehicles sharing the road with others. They are relatively small and may be difficult to see. Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other types of vehicles and this can make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance of a motorcycle when it’s approaching.

Drivers are encouraged to always signal their intentions and look for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe position on the road.

As part of October’s annual Motorcycle Awareness Month 2021 (MAM21), the Motorcycle Council of NSW (MCC of NSW) surveyed motorcyclists to find out what it is like to ride on the roads in NSW.

Almost 500 motorcycle riders were surveyed across NSW and asked if they had had any crashes or near misses. There were a number of riders from the Central West that responded to the survey.

Overall, 35% of survey respondents said they had a near miss one in every 5 rides, with 23% one in ten rides.  37% of motorcyclists have had to correct their riding to avoid an accident. 

The Chair of MCC of NSW, Kevin ‘Trip’ Henry, said, “What we found interesting was that experience in motorcycle riding did not affect their occurrence of near misses.  Most of these riders surveyed (79%) had over ten years riding.”

The survey uncovered that in 43.9% of near misses, the driver was driving under 50km along a suburban road. These near misses and crashes could have been avoided had the driver followed the road rules and spent more time looking.

“Near misses occur 13 times more often than crashes.  We know near misses can easily turn into a crash.  Every driver we get the message to look out for motorcyclists will help save lives.” says Mr. Henry.

Drivers are also encouraged to remember that motorcyclists are easily hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look, due to their smaller size. They should always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes or entering or leaving intersections.

Road conditions that are minor annoyances to motorists can pose major hazards to motorcyclists. Motorcyclists may suddenly change speed or adjust their position on the road in reaction to road and traffic conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces, road plates, seams and grooved pavement.

When following a motorcycle, drivers are asked to allow more following distance, three or four seconds, so the motorcyclist has enough time to manoeuvre or stop in an emergency.

An awareness campaign aimed at drivers to watch for motorcycles is our livestream of Joe Rider, a professional motorcyclist’s commute to work.

“We are excited about this event.  It will really give drivers an experience of riding a motorcycle on busy Sydney roads. Joe Rider will narrate during his rides, sharing the typical mindset of riders negotiating urban roads.” said Mr Henry.

This ‘on bike’ livestream will take place twice a week during October’s MAM on the MCC of NSW Facebook page. It will also be saved for non-live viewing.

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