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Leading and Following Motorcycle accidents

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Motorcyclists are at a much greater risk of death or serious injury than other road users. 

Despite forming only 1% of road traffic in the UK, motorcyclists account for 18% of road deaths and serious injuries. It is a sad yet true fact that 1 in 4 Motorcyclists will be involved in an accident and of those only 1 in 5 will be at fault.*

It will be of no surprise that the most common reason for a motorcycle accident, is the failure of a motorist to see the motorcyclist, with 66% of all motorcycles involved in accidents being reported as 'at a junction' ** .   When there was no other involvement the rate was at 23%. The main reasons being  f ailing to look properly, loss of control, carelessness or in a hurry and even peer pressure when riding in a group.

Motorcycle riders and passengers have the right to complain for a large amount of these accidents.

Leading and Following Accident Scenarios include:

* Two motorcyclists are travelling one behind the other. The first motorcyclist failed to take a left-hand bend and collided with an oncoming car sustaining fatal injuries.  The first motorcyclist was found to be negligent. 
The second motorcyclist was travelling close behind the first and reacted to the collision in front of him.  As a result, he slid across the road.  It was held that if the second motorcyclist had allowed a few more yards space, he may have had time to react to the emergency situation and avoid the necessity of an instinctive reaction of slamming on his brakes and losing control. 

The first motorcyclist was found at fault for the accident, but the second motorcyclist’s award was reduced by 20% as he was travelling so close as to the first motorcyclist to be found partly to blame.

* Two motorcyclists agreed between them that as one knew the road he would “lead”.  The other followed at a distance of approximately 8 yards.  The lead motorcyclist mistook the road and ended up on waste ground.  The second bike followed colliding with the first. 

 It was held that the first motorcyclist was negligent and there was a duty on him not to mislead the following rider.

Other areas for following up a claim include:

• Spillage of diesel

• Debris and mud

• Missing grid covers

• Potholes

* Taken from the DfT Compendium of Motorcycling Statistics: 2008 Edition

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