Drivers urged to look out for motorcyclists ahead of Phillip Island MotoGP

16 October 2014
As thousands of motorcyclists head to Phillip Island for this weekend’s 2014 MotoGP (October 17-19), road safety advocates are urging all road users to take extra care on the roads.

Road safety lawyer Malcolm Cumming, a principal at Maurice Blackburn, is also making a special plea to drivers to be alert on the roads over the weekend.

"The MotoGP is a great event for the motorcycling community, and we want to make sure all riders who are travelling to Phillip Island arrive there safely,” Mr Cumming said.

“We know that most serious collisions involving motorcyclists are caused by drivers, so we are urging drivers to be extra mindful of riders this week.”

VicRoads figures show that in 84 per cent of motorcycle fatalities, drivers were at fault and had turned into, or across, the path of the motorcycle.*

A recent report from an Australian National University researcher showed that drivers have more difficulty detecting motorcycles than vehicles they see frequently.**

The report said that when there are more motorbikes on the road, drivers see and react to motorcycles up to three seconds faster.

A three-second delay in reaction time means that when travelling at a speed of 100km/h, a driver could cover an extra 83 metres before seeing a motorcyclist.

“Other road users aren’t looking out for motorcyclists enough. But if they expect to see motorcyclists, then they will look out more,” Mr Cumming said. “So, as more people ride, it will be safer for everyone. Indeed the statistics show there has never been a safer time to be a rider.

“The MotoGP is a great way to bring the riding community together, and to promote safe riding and road use for all road users.”

Maurice Blackburn is proud to lead Stop SMIDSY (Sorry Mate I Didn’t See You), a growing campaign for motorcycle safety and change for riders.

*VicRoads' crash information system 2007-10 and TAC's fatal diary

**Beanland, V. et. al (2014) Safety in numbers: Target prevalence affects the detection of vehicles during simulated driving, Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, Volume 76, Issue 3 , pp 805-813

Practice Areas: