Female motorcyclists used to be an unfamiliar sight, but last year more than 10,500 women took their motorcycle training practical test, meaning that they account for around 1 in 5 motorcyclists on Britain’s roads today.
Women are taking up the form of transport mostly for financial reasons. As the cost of fuel continues to rise more women are encouraged to swap their cars for just two wheels in an effort to save money. 14% of women questioned by the Post Office said that they would consider riding a motorbike to save cash. Motorcycles are also a great way to beat congestion and traffic jams on the way to work, and make way for a greener planet.
The rise in female riders has led to speculation that they are to blame for the rising number of motorcycle accidents, which is up 30% in the last 10 years. They are more likely to be inexperienced by their male counterparts and their bodies less sustainable to injury. The rise of women motorcyclists of course causes a correlation with the amount of women involved in accidents; however, it is a mistake to believe they are the cause for a rise in accidents in general.
Research has shown that, on average, women riders are safer than male motorcyclists with fewer women involved in motorbike accidents proportionately. Furthermore, while men are often reluctant to take up further training after passing their motorcycle test, women demonstrate a greater interest in advanced rider development training after they have obtained their license. Currently, men are 7 times more likely make a journey on their motorbike, but are involved in 15 times more accidents than women.
Police and road safety campaigners are in fact targeting born-again bikers as the perceived cause of increased accidents in a 10 year road safety campaign. These men, usually in their 30s and 40s, return to motorcycling after a long period of not holding a license. This means they are inexperienced, as well as not being used to today’s powerful bikes and the increase of vehicles on the road. Police are warning the men to slow down and drive more carefully.