Half of British bikers disregard safety when choosing their protective gear

Stock image - Motorbike rider. EMN-180119-091612001
Stock image - Motorbike rider. EMN-180119-091612001

Just under half of bikers in the UK do not consider safety performance when buying new leathers, according to a new survey as part of a biking safety campaign.

The survey, from leading motorcycle insurance broker Carole Nash, found that as little as 53% of British riders gave thought to how safe the leathers were when making their latest purchase.

A further quarter admit to not getting their leathers properly fitted (26%) to ensure full protection.

Looking to address the issues highlighted within the study, Rebecca Donohue, Head of Marketing at Carole Nash, said: “Motorcyclists’ safety is paramount to us - we want to take the opportunity to help riders take the correct safety precautions so we have produced an advice piece on our website, which includes a range of tips and useful websites and resources.”

When looking nationwide, the most safety-conscious regions of the UK are:

1. East of England: 57% considered safety performance when purchasing leathers

2. London: 56%

3. South West: 55%

4. Northern Ireland: 55%

5. Yorkshire: 54%

6. East Midlands: 54%

7. Scotland: 54%

8. South East: 53%

9. North West: 53%

10. Wales: 47%

11. North East: 46%

12. West Midlands: 46%

The research also found that one in five British riders’ beliefs on what is considered to be safe riding equipment does not match the Motorcycle Industry Association’s recommendations.

19% of bikers think the recommended thickness for riding boots is below true value of 2mm and an additional 11% believe that acceptable leathers would be below the recommended thickness of 1.2mm.

This discrepancy is larger amongst female riders, with 12% of women selecting the 1mm and 1.5mm options for the minimum recommended thickness, compared to just 10% of men.

However, while men may have the right gear, they are not always wearing it.

One in three male bikers (32%) do not wear the recommended safety equipment (including a helmet, gloves and a leather jacket) on every ride. By comparison, just a quarter female riders are guilty of this.

Helmets are recommended to be replaced within five-years but 7% of Brits think that it is safe to persevere with their headgear for up to double this time period. Thankfully though, just 3% of respondents used a helmet in excess of the suggested five-years.

Karen Cole, Safety and Training Director at the Motorcycle Industry Association commented, “When riders are looking for a new helmet or safety clothing, it makes sense to tap into the expertise of a local dealer.

“Dealers will have staff who can advise about fit and the best performing products to suit the customer’s budget.

“There is also an increasing number of new products coming onto the market worth considering, such as personal airbags.

“Riders should also avoid thinking they are fully protected just because they are wearing safety gear and make sure they are clearly visible to other road users. “Investing in good training is important, whether upgrading to a licence from a CBT or to take post-test training.”

Carole Nash’s biking safety tips can be found at www.carolenash.com/insidebikes/biking-tips/kit/top-5-tips-buying-bike-leathers

To access the helmet safety page, visit www.carolenash.com/insidebikes/news/how-safe-is-your-lid/