By MICHELLE HERBISON
SERIOUS motorcycle accidents within Geelong and Surf Coast hospitalised 181 riders in the five years to August last year, according to TAC data.
Riders between ages 40 and 59 years accounted for the highest proportion of the injuries at 78. Riders between 26 and 39 years old were next with 58 injured.
Only 19 of the 181 hospitalised riders were female, the data showed.
Research commissioned by law firm Slater and Gordon found that 45 per cent of 300 riders who took part in a survey stated they had been injured in motorcycle crashes.
Motorcyclists were also regularly involved in near misses, with 63 per cent of respondents stating they had been forced into an evasive manoeuvre to avoid a collision at least once in their past five outings.
More than three-quarters, 76 per cent, stated that other road users’ negative attitudes toward motorcyclists significantly decreased rider safety.
Around 60 per cent cited other drivers failing to see them as the biggest safety threats when riding, 28 per cent cited road conditions and 12 per cent cited risky riding behaviour.
Slater and Gordon’s Tom Burgoyne called for greater understanding between local motorists and motorcyclists.
“Riding a motorbike is a popular pastime in Geelong and the Surf Coast and unfortunately that brings with it a high number of serious injuries and deaths on local roads,” he said.