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Biker urges motorists to be more aware of vulnerable road users ahead of Road Safety Week

Minster Law

Motorcycle driver riding in through mountain ranges

Brake Road Safety Week – 23-29 November 2015

A motorcyclist who was left with severe injuries after an accident involving his bike and a van, has welcomed this year’s Road Safety Week campaign from Brake aimed at reducing road traffic. The Drive Less Live More campaign encourages drivers to consider alternative ways to reach their destination with the hope of improving road safety.

Adrian Watson, who was riding north along the B1284 in Chilton Moor last September when he was struck by a Vauxhall Vivaro van, believes reducing the number of cars and vans on the roads would help to improve safety for vulnerable road users.

He hopes that his story encourages motorists to be extra vigilant on the roads and more aware of vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists and cyclists. The 42-year-old says the driver of the van that collided with his bike failed to give way at a junction after claiming not to see him.

As a result of the accident, the 42-year-old spent two weeks in hospital with two spinal fractures, multiple rib fractures, liver lacerations, lung contusions, fluid in the spleen, laceration of the knee as well as extended shoulder and back pain. The Houghton-le-Spring resident also suffered a number of psychological symptoms including flashbacks, panic attacks and amnesia.

Unfortunately, Adrian’s story is not uncommon. In the UK, up to 30 motorcyclists are killed or injured every day at junctions*, while almost two thirds of cyclists killed or seriously injured in 2013 were involved in collisions at or near road junctions**. As the UK prepares to recognise Road Safety Week (23-29 November) Adrian hopes his story will strike a chord with drivers and inspire them to pay extra attention to more vulnerable road users.

“I love riding motorcycles and had one day hoped to launch my own motorcycle business,” explains Adrian. “However, now I can’t ride a motorcycle as far or for as long as I used to because of the pain. I’m still taking medication for my injuries and am reliant on the ongoing support of Minster Law’s specialist team.”

“I had only been riding my motorcycle at around 30mph on the day of my accident, but was still left with really serious injuries. However, I still feel lucky – so many other bikers who are involved in accidents are not. I hope my experience encourages other motorists to be more vigilant around junctions and to be extra cautious of other bikers and cyclists on the road.”

Minster Law Solicitor, Mark Webley, who is leading Adrian’s case said: “It is well documented that accidents involving motorcyclists are out of proportion to their presence on our roads – government figures highlight that bikers make up 19% of all fatalities on the road, despite representing less than one per cent of road traffic*. Unfortunately, this is echoed by the significant number of biking cases we deal with – the majority of which involve serious injuries, like Adrian’s.”

“It’s really important that we continue to raise awareness of vulnerable road users by supporting safety initiatives such as Brake Road Safety Week. Many bikers are already supporting the drive less, live more principle by choosing to use their motorcycle for shorter journeys. With this year’s theme hopefully encouraging more cyclists and pedestrians, we must continue to stress the importance of driver vigilance. We understand that there are times when we all need to drive, but hope that stories such as Adrian’s make motorists think twice when approaching junctions.”

* http://think.direct.gov.uk/motorcycles.html
** ROSPA Cycling Accidents Facts & Figures – August 2014