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37% of motorcycle accidents in Europe are caused by car drivers failing to check their mirrors

November 23, 2010

Yes, you have read the title of this post correctly: according to MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident in Depth Study), 37% of motorcycle accidents in the European Union are caused by car drivers not paying attention on the roads, and more specifically, as a result of them not looking around and checking their mirrors when they should do. As a car driver, it’s often easy to forget to check your mirrors and the dead angle when you want to turn right or left, overtake or even open the door of your car to come out of it. And what happens if you haven’t seen a motorcyclist riding behind your vehicle, purely because you failed to look around and check your mirrors? Well, that scenario represents 37% of motorcycle accidents in Europe. Yes, it’s absolutely outrageous, especially when we (motorcyclists) then get insulted and shouted at by the same car drivers who blame us for what they’ve done wrong!

In the United Kingdom and shortly in France (from 1st January 2011), all bikers who don’t hold a full motorcycle licence and want to ride a powered two wheeler of up to 125cc must attend a one-day basic training course every couple of years which teaches them how to ride and look after a motorbike or scooter. But they obviously can’t be taught to check the mirrors of the car in front on behalf of its driver, can they? No matter how much bikers are taught how to ride their bike safely, if car drivers don’t look around and check their mirrors, they will continue to cause motorcycle accidents on the roads.

These statistics clearly show that there is a serious misunderstanding of who is responsible in a large proportion of motorcycle accidents. How often have you heard someone say or assume that an accident involving a car and a motorcycle has been caused by the biker? Probably most of the time, because motorcyclists have an unfounded reputation of behaving dangerously on the roads, although they have gone through very robust training and passed a couple of practical tests and also a theory test. But when you realise that 37% of motorcycle accidents are caused by car drivers failing to look around and check their mirrors, can you imagine how many other motorcycle accidents the same car drivers may cause by doing something else wrong?

Those who believe that a fair proportion of motorcycle accidents are caused by technical faults with the bike itself, well how wrong are they! According to MAIDS again, only 0.7% of motorcycle accidents are the result of a technical fault with the bike. We are not saying here that an environmental and road safety test for motorbikes and scooters (such as the MOT in the UK) is useless, but we are somehow supporting the angry French bikers in their fight against the introduction of an MOT for bikes in France, on the Government’s grounds that they will considerably reduce the number of road accidents involving motorcycles. That’s pure spin from the French Government to try to impose on the bikers another stealth tax to bring in more revenue.


Source (in French): FFMC 44 – 8 Novembre 2010


If you’re based in France and want to take part of the fight against the Government’s proposed introduction of a compulsory annual environmental and road safety test for motorcycles and their continued policy to ban motorcyclists from filtering through traffic, then contact the Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – French Federation of Angry Bikers).

Si vous habitez en France et souhaitez participer aux manifestations contre la proposition du gouvernement d’introduire un controle technique pour les 2 roues motorises ansi que de continuer a empecher la circulation inter files pour les motocyclistes dans les embouteillages, contactez la Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC).


Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit

Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez


If you have a story you would like to see published on UK France, please contact us here.

Si vous avez une experience a partager et que vous souhaiteriez voir publiee sur UK France, n’hesitez pas a nous contacter en cliquant ici.

  1. Phil Randome permalink

    Il est également vrai (royaume-uni) que dans nonante-deux percent des accidents impliquant un motocyclette ce n’était pas la faute du motard; c’était la faute de chauffard.Mais malheureusement les policards sont toujours punir les motards pas les conducteurs. Cette histoire illustre parfaitement la situation.

    It’s also true that in 92% of accidents (UK) involving a motorcycle it was not the motorcyclist’s fault; it was the driver’s fault. Sadly the politicians punish the motorcyclists not car drivers and this story illustrates this perfectly.

  2. I wouldn’t be surprised if the other 63% of motorcycle accidents in Europe are caused by car drivers talking or texting on their mobile phones.

  3. I firmly believe that the CBT should be a part of the main car driving test. It would give an appreciation of the real dangers of the road for people who then go on to drive cars, and might increase the number of bikers too.

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