In Spain, the number of road fatalities has been declining or stagnating for years. Unfortunately, we cannot say that the number of motorcyclists who died follows the same trend.
So much so that, as revealed by lvaro Gómez, director of the National Observatory for Road Safety, 190 motorcyclists have died so far in 2023, 60 of them since July 1st.
This corresponds to 27% of all traffic fatalities this year. But when you consider that there are around 37 million vehicles and only 3.2 million are motorcycles, the numbers don’t add up.
About 8.7%—let’s say about 10%—of the entire park is motorcycles, to round the numbers out. This gives an impression of the high rate of accidents on two wheels and their consequences.
But it’s not as if motorcycling is inherently dangerous, as several patterns can also be seen in the data revealed by the DGT-dependent observatory that should be a clear wake-up call for all motorcyclists.
97% of the motorcyclists who died were middle-aged men; 64% were between 35 and 64 years old. It is also noted that the majority had been on the road for more than 10 years, and 64% also used motorcycles over 500 cc.
Motorcyclists have a lot to say about these numbers
The figures for the places where accidents have occurred are even more meaningful: Eight out of ten accidents occurred on conventional roads. As if that weren’t enough, half of all accidents occur between Saturday and Sunday, giving way to figures like last weekend, where out of a total of 13 fatalities, six were motorcyclists.
Regarding the types of accidents that occur most frequently, the Observatory confirms that they usually occur without the involvement of another vehicle and by leaving the road combined with speeding. This study merely confirms a fact that can be clearly observed on many concrete roads over the weekend.
And while in Spain the proportion of motorcycle deaths in the total continues to rise, our French neighbors are doing the opposite and falling. There is no doubt that the condition of the roads, which is not mentioned, can in some cases play an important role, as can the lives of the rest of the users.
What the biker collective cannot do is ignore such obvious numbers because those numbers are people like you or me. For this reason, and regardless of the indications of official organizations, we must reflect on our fragility. There are many ways to enjoy cycling in a playful way, but the best one is the one that gets you home safe and sound.