Motorcyclists are, statistically speaking, among the least safe of Britain’s motorists. Per billion passenger miles, motorcyclists account for just over 5,000 casualties, of which 104 end up as fatalities. These figures compare very unfavourably to cars, which experience 195 casualties over the same distance, of which just 1.6 end up as fatalities.
Despite the enormous progress that’s been made over the last few decades, we still have a considerable way to go toward road safety. If you’re heading out onto the road on the back of a motorcycle, then it’s worth making yourself aware of where the dangers lie, and to plan your route accordingly.
The UK is home to some spectacular routes, that really make the experience of travelling in this way worthwhile. But several of these pose a particular threat to motorcyclists. The danger is compounded at night-time when visibility is poor, and during wintertime, when road surfaces are treacherous. Despite this, the majority of accidents occur during summertime, and on A-roads – which suggests that awareness of the danger is a considerable problem.
In cases where there’s blame to be apportioned, you might seek damages through the courts – but obviously, it’s better to prevent a collision from occurring in the first place.
Let’s take a look at three of the most dangerous roads in the UK for motorcyclists.
A537 Macclesfield – Buxton
The Cat and Fiddle is among the most dangerous roads anywhere in the country, leading from Macclesfield to Buxton. You’ll find sheer drops, drystone walls, rock faces, and sharp bends that seem to come out of nowhere. And even if you’re familiar with the route, there’s the danger that the person coming in the other direction can’t handle it. Given the natural beauty on display here, there’s a temptation for leisure-riders to relax and push the bike a little closer to the limit than it should go. As such, it’s popularly dubbed ‘the widow-maker’. Treat it with respect.
Another notorious route, not uncoincidentally, ends up at Buxton. Of the accidents that occur on this road, an incredible three-quarters involve motorcycles. Anyone planning a trip to Buxton, therefore, should make themselves aware of the routes, and explore them at a sensible speed.
A646 Burnley – Halifax
This long stretch of road joins Burnley and Halifax via Todmorden. Like the aforementioned widow-maker, it’s seen its fair share of accidents, many of which are fatal. The most dangerous spots along the route are the junctions, which should be anticipated and treated seriously.