The best way to deal with motorcycle accidents?  Avoid them!
Bob Coupland
by Bob Coupland
Head of Bike Claims

02 May 2023

The best way to deal with motorcycle accidents? Avoid them!

Frankly, we hope you’ll never need to use our Biker-SOS service. 

Because although we’re experts in protecting the rights of vulnerable road users like motorcyclists, we’d honestly be much happier if accidents never happened! 

Call us on 0330 013 0251 or contact us and we’ll talk everything through there and then or give you a call back at a time that works better for you. We’ll do everything we can to help, give you our best advice, and we won’t get paid unless your claim is successful. So you’ve nothing to lose. 

Sadly, that’s just not the case.

According to Department of Transport figures last updated in November 2021, 285 motorcyclists were killed in Great Britain in 2020, whilst 4,429 were reported seriously injured  and 8,890 slightly injured. In most cases, the accident will not be the biker’s fault – but they’ll still come off worst. In fact,  bikers are 50 times more likely to suffer a fatal injury than car drivers.

With that in mind, here are three factors we’d suggest you can get working in your favour for safer, more enjoyable motorcycling.


Keep it maintained, keep it serviced, keep it in good working order, do all your checks before EVERY ride. 

It may be the case that relatively few accidents are 100% caused by mechanical failure. But few things are more frustrating than breaking down when you know that just a bit of time and a regular routine before heading out could have kept you running smoothly. And few situations are more tragically regrettable than a relatively simple problem (like a faulty indicator or broken headlamp) leading to a (potentially fatal) collision

So why take the chance? 

Training schools drill riders to use acronyms that make it easier to remember daily and weekly checks ─ a good habit that should be maintained no matter how experienced you get.


Leathers or textile fabrics?

It’s a debate that will always divide bikers but there’s one thing we can all agree on: bad quality riding kit is a liability.


Because it means you get uncomfortable and distracted. And if you’re uncomfortable and distracted, you’re at much greater risk of having an accident. Plus – adding insult to the potential injury ─ having an accident while you’re wearing bad quality kit only increases your chances of getting seriously hurt!

Think “armour” rather than “fashion statement”.  Protection rather than posing is the name of the game.

While leathers may look cool, if the weather gets really hot or really cold you’ll quickly learn to loathe their distinct lack of thermal insulation capability and/or breathability. 

(And if it rains you can start to feel like a chamois getting dunked on wash day.)

Textiles might sacrifice a degree of out-and-out abrasion resistance compared to leathers, but in return you get a great deal of flexibility for different weather conditions plus you can always up the protection factor with CE2 armour and fabrics incorporating Kevlar and Cordura.

Of course, kit isn’t just about clothing. Helmets have got to be right up there on the list of priorities ─ and not just because they’re the only piece of protective equipment you are legally obliged to wear on a motorcycle. MCN recently published a useful guide on choosing the best helmet but one thing to bear in mind is that even the best lids don’t last forever. The materials used in their manufacture weaken over time and, as a rule of thumb, you should look to buy a new helmet every five years and replace immediately if it suffers an impact (including being dropped on a hard surface.)


One of the joys of biking is the intimate link between (wo)man and machine.

Unfortunately, it’s a link that can work against you very quickly if your skills are lacking or your approach becomes slapdash.

In terms of accident prevention, defensive riding (as defined by the DVSA) gives you time and space to react effectively to unexpected events, finding safety in the face of danger.

So, take off the hurry head. Observe, anticipate and adjust to the conditions so that you always stay in control (and in the saddle.)


As Mike Tyson famously observed: “Everyone’s has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

In motorcycling terms, unfortunately, you can do all the right things and accidents can still happen.

If you’re in that situation and need legal support, it’s time to get in touch with Fletchers and ask about Biker-SOS.

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