Personal Injury and Road Traffic Accidents: Vespas and Motorbikes

In 2019, 17,125 motorcyclists, from riders of 50cc bikes (mopeds and Vespas) to over 500cc, were involved in a road traffic accident (RTA), with 3 per cent of these unfortunately being fatal.

We know that for motorcyclists, bikes are a crucial part of everyday life; from the metal to the leathers, the investment, care and commitment that goes into riding is more than just a hobby, it’s your whole world. So, when an RTA brings all of that to a standstill, damaging your bike and potentially your ability to ride, can be an incredible trauma.

The cause of motorcycle RTAs differs hugely, but research has found that in two-thirds of motorcycle accidents which involve another vehicle, the driver of the other vehicle in some way violated the biker’s right of way, causing an accident.

Unfortunately, no matter how vigilant, law abiding and cautious you are on the roads, there may be elements that are out of your control which may lead to serious injury or harm of your motorcycle:

  1. Road Hazards

Poor road conditions such as oil slicks and potholes to railroads and loose debris on the road can cause real problems for bikes. From wheels becoming trapped or losing control on road damage that hasn’t been cordoned off, unsafe roads are a death trap.

As said by the Motorcycle Action Group:

“‘Bikers are a hardy lot, but that won’t prevent dangerous accidents because of holes in the road. Hospital treatment is far more costly than fixing a pothole.

Make a simple call to the local council or send an email about the road damage you’ve noticed – and which could cost lives. If we tell them, then they’ve got a responsibility to act.”

  1. Car doors

Yes, it’s usually a scene from an old slapstick comedy but car doors opening into motorcyclists is an occurrence not to be taken lightly. Also known as ‘dooring’, this can lead to serious injury.

Dooring is an illegal offence, under the Road Traffic Act 1988 and the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 it is stated that:

“No person shall open, or cause or permit to be opened, any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person”

  1. Cars changing lanes

It can be the case that some drivers may become complacent, especially on long journeys, and may fail to check, signal, manoeuvre on roads and motorways when changing lanes. Even if they do, they may not fully check their blind spots.

In the UK, it is perfectly legal for motorbikes to filter, or lane split. In a 2006 case, Davis vs Shrogin, the judge ruled that:

“A filtering motorcyclist passing stationary or very slow-moving traffic could not be to blame if a collision occurred if the rider had no chance to take avoiding action.”

There a few exceptions for when bikers cannot filter but overall, there are no issues and it is up to other drivers to be vigilant for any oncoming motorbikes and fully follow the correct highway code procedures before changing lanes.


If you or a loved one has been in a motorbike accident or suffered an injury that was caused by another road user or was a result of dangerous road conditions, we can help you with repairs or replacement of your bike through to rehabilitation and compensation. Please contact us at Lysander Law