At least from one point of view we can say they did!
If we look at the total number of fatalities, then the answer would be NO, they weren’t… but, let’s see.
These days DfT has released the RRCGB for 2014. The first figures shows increases on every sections. If we look at the fatalities chart, there is an increase of 62 fatalities comparing to 2013.
Also we can see an increase in motorcycle users fatalities. At a first glance there is a 2.4 per cent increase on this category, of motorcycle users fatalities.
But, this category of drivers had a traffic increase of 3 per cent and if we take this in consideration we will find out that the motorcyclist are the category of drivers which had the best rate of relative fatalities decrease.
Table 1. 2013 – 2014 Fatalities comparison with the traffic increase factor
As can be seen in the table above, Motorcycle fatalities in 2014 increased with 8 fatalities, representing a 2.4 percent increase comparing to 2013; in the same time with there was a 3 per cent increase in traffic on this category. Taking in consideration the traffic increase, the expected increase would have been 10, which is higher than the real number.
The same aspect can be observed in the next chart, in comparison with other categories of fatalities.
The next chart presents a comparison between the total number of fatalities expected if we take in consideration the traffic increase, for each category. Also from this chart, we can easily observe that the expected total number of motorcycle fatalities is bigger than the actual number.
If we look at how did these categories of fatalities acted in 2014 in comparison to 2013, taking in consideration the traffic increase for each category, we can see that the motorcycle fatalities had the best decrease, in fact the only category which had a relative increase being the pedestrians.
In this case we can say that in 2014, comparing to 2013, from a fatalities reported to the traffic point of view, motorcyclist have learned to drive safely better than other categories of traffic participants.
But, wait a minute…
If we go deeper and analyse in the same way the seriously injured (SI) casualties, we discover that….
Motorcyclist SI number increased with 423 cases, meaning 8.7 per cent in comparison with 2013 and meaning still a big increase, of 5.5 per cent even when we consider the traffic increase factor. As can be seen in the next table, all categories of participants on traffic had also relative increases in the number of SI, even with the traffic increase factor.
Table 2. 2013 – 2014 SI comparison with the traffic increase factor
This time we can see that the situation is different from the previous case, of fatalities, motorcyclist having an increase in SI about 3 times bigger than the expected one.
The same aspect can be observed in the next chart, were we can see the difference between the expected total number of SI of 5012 and the real number of SI, 5289.
If we look into the relative increase in the number of SI, we can see that motorcyclist have the biggest increase in SI, at a big distance from the pedestrians and way too far from the average increase.
As a final statement we can say that motorcyclist in 2014 produced 2 less killed people that they were expected to, taking in consideration the traffic increase factor, but they produced way more serious injured casualties that they were expected to.
We leave you to draw your own conclusions…