October 21 2005.
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) is urging riders to follow basic riding advice as the weather changes and darker days create more hazardous driving conditions.  Off the back of this MCI campaign, motorcycle retail outlets can take advantage of press coverage to maximise sales opportunities.
Government statistics show on an average weekday around half of all collisions with motorcycles happen during the morning and evening peak traffic periods when the light is poor. As the winter approaches and it gets dark earlier and the weather deteriorates the risk of accidents is increased.
Studies and surveys also reveal that in motorcycle accidents in urban areas around two-thirds of motorcycle accidents other road users, usually car drivers, were involved. In rural areas about half of accidents involve another vehicle.
In the autumn and winter, adverse weather such as rain, snow and ice create problems as riders are forced to go slower or use more space for turning. The weather is also very changeable and unpredictable. In the darker mornings and evenings it is more difficult to see riders among the glare of headlights and low winter sun can also be hazardous
Research has found that riders who are more conspicuous are less likely to be involved in an accident and for example a study carried out in  New Zealand found riders who had headlights on in the day were 27% less likely to be involved in an accident. (1)
Craig Carey-Clinch Director of Public Affairs said, "Two-thirds of motorcycle accidents in urban areas involve another vehicle and as winter approaches it is essential that all road users act responsibly and follow simple safety advice that could save a life.
"Wearing the correct kit is an easy way for riders to be less vulnerable on the roads. As more than half of accidents are caused by drivers who suffer from the 'Sorry Mate I Didn't See You There' syndrome  it is down to riders to be more aware on the roads and take precautionary steps to reduce the risk of an accident."
The MCI advises riders to follow these tips to help reduce motorcycle accidents. Retailers might consider reproducing this list in poster form and display it at the accessory counter as a reminder to purchase hi-visability clothing, visors, bulbs, tyres and other winter items.
1. Turn your lights on before it is fully dark - check lights weekly
2. Reduce speed in adverse weather conditions  - fog, rain and ice
3. Wear the correct kit to make you more visible and keep your visor clean
4. Carry water proofs in case of rain
5. Keep warm and wear layers - a cold body will not react as quickly
6. Check tyres  - ensure they are at correct pressure
7. Don't assume that car drivers have seen you