Motorcyclists contributed to majority of fatal crashes - veteran road crash investigator

A veteran road crash investigator says the majority of motorcycle deaths could be prevented if riders had better skills. 

Sergeant Peter Sowter will appear in a safety campaign starting this week and says 70 percent of the fatal crashes he's seen involved some fault from motorcyclists.

Sgt Sowter is a serious crash investigator by trade but a motorcycle enthusiast at heart. 

He's sick of seeing his fellow bikies winding up dead.

"It just kind of effects you a little bit differently, because you can certainly see yourself in the same situation," he told Newshub. 

This year there have been 47 motorcyclist deaths across the country.

Sgt Peter Sowter.
Sgt Peter Sowter. Photo credit: Newshub.

Those in cars cop the blame. ACC figures reveal motorcyclists think drivers are behind 80 percent of car versus bike incidents. 

Sgt Sowter told Newshub it's not what he sees.

"The numbers work out at somewhere around the 70 percent range, that motorcyclists have contributed to the crash," he said. "That's not to say they're to blame for the crash, that's not to say they're the sole cause of the crash, but that they have had a major contributing factor towards the crash."

Bike enthusiast James Strawbridge has walked away from more than one crash.

"The person just didn't see me," he told Newshub. "That was a big accident I had a year and a half ago. 

"I broke my arm [and] my helmet split when I hit the ground at such speed."

Motorcyclists contributed to majority of fatal crashes - veteran road crash investigator

Strawbridge said motorists need to be more aware and Sowter agrees, although insists many motorcyclists lack basic skills and need training like the Ride Forever scheme. 

"It teaches you not just the skills to avoid crashes or the skills to ride better but also about your motorcycle and your gear," Sgt Sowter said.