Be seen, stay alive.

Approximately 10 motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured every day in the UK. That’s no small number, and with the riding season getting underway, incidents are bound to occur. The charity DocBike quickly responds to such crashes with motorcycle-riding trauma doctors. However, the organization wants to move from reaction to prevention with its latest safety campaign.

Starting in Dorset county in southwest England, the ‘Think Bike, Have You Been Seen’ initiative will post new roadway signs imploring motorists to ‘THINK BIKE!’ at junctions and crossings. In addition to reminders for drivers, ‘HAVE YOU BEEN SEEN?” signage will alert bikers to problematic intersections. The Dorset Police, Dorset Road Safe Partnership, and DocBike hope the two-pronged approach will help decrease incidents involving motorcycles in the future.

DocBike Think Bike, Have You Been Seen Campaign - Dorset Police
DocBike Think Bike, Have You Been Seen Campaign - Sign

"The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance has an incredible set-up with a new £10m helicopter,” noted DocBike co-founder Dr. Ian Mew, “but when it came to helping motorcyclists, often the victim would be dead before we got there. We needed to stop these guys from crashing in the first place."

Starting April 1, 2021, and ending October 31, 2021, the pilot program will help DocBike determine the impact of the additional signage. Mew's work with police crash investigators found that 80 percent of most severe motorcycle accidents could have been avoided had the rider identified the high-risk situation.

"The human brain is not very good at ‘seeing’ small objects traveling towards it at speed," continued Dr. Mew. "A high proportion of motorcycle collisions occur when another vehicle pulls into the path of a motorcycle which is unable to stop in time. We need all road users to be aware of why motorcyclists get knocked off their bikes."

Yes, motorcyclists do have the right of way during most of the noted crashes, but we all know that riders also pay the bigger price in any collision with a vehicle. Hopefully, DocBike’s efforts return favorable data and the program can expand to other parts of the UK. DocBike currently operates in Dorset, Staffordshire, Wales, and Northamptonshire. It would be an encouraging sign if the ‘Think Bike, Have You Been Seen’ campaign made it to those regions as well. Maybe then, less than 10 motorcyclists would be killed or seriously injured per day in the UK.

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