July 24 2009.

Devitt Insurance is supporting the Department for Transport's (DfT) THINK! road safety campaign, by calling upon car drivers to be more aware of the risks motorcyclists are exposed to on Britain's roads. This summer sees the launch of Devitt's 'Keep Britain Biking' initiative, highlighting the benefits of two wheels over four - however with more than half of bikers believing cars are the biggest threat on the roads, there is a clear need for all motorists, not just motorcyclists, to understand the basics in motorcycle safety.

"Sadly motorcyclists make up 19% of total road fatalities, but only represent 1% of traffic," explains William Hughes, Managing Director of Devitt Insurance. "The fact is that motorcycles are more difficult for cars and trucks to see and often aren't seen until it's too late. Interestingly, we surveyed over 1000 active bikers on road safety, and just 4% said that lorry, bus and van drivers give them cause for concern. However, nearly 80% said they believed that the driving test for car owners should include a course on riding two wheels in order to help them better understand the risks facing motorcyclists.

"Without a doubt, it is a biker's responsibility to ensure they stay alert to nearby vehicles and their surroundings and try to make themselves as visible as possible to other motorists. However, by appreciating the differences and ability of all vehicles to brake, accelerate and respond to road conditions, as well as keeping driver attention alert, passenger vehicle drivers can support the THINK! Road Safety Campaign in its aim to achieve a 40% reduction in motorcycle deaths and serious injuries by 2010."

Before motorcyclists get on their bikes, Devitt advises them to invest in a good helmet and safety gear. Wear bright clothing and put reflective material on helmets and jackets for added visibility at night. Always signal, so that other drivers know what you're doing. Bikers should always try to ensure that other drivers can see them and that means understanding where their blind spots are mostly likely to be and stay out of them.

Hughes concludes, "There are several steps car drivers and motorcyclists can take to ensure everyone stays safe on the roads. They might seem like common sense, but we think they are worth reiterating as part of the THINK! Campaign. A little care and preparation will go a long way and will help to keep Britian biking."