Between 2013 and 2022, nearly 200 motorcyclists died in traffic accidents. Photo: Mostphotos

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Over the past ten years, traffic accidents have claimed the lives of 197 motorcyclists and 36 moped riders in Finland, highlighting significant safety concerns on Finnish roads. According to a recent analysis by the Accident Data Institute (OTI), over half of the motorcyclists killed were speeding, and a third were under the influence of alcohol at the time of their accidents. The study also noted issues with modified mopeds and improperly secured helmets in moped-related fatalities.

The data, detailed in OTI's latest publications, "Motorcycle Accidents 2013–2022" and "Moped Accidents 2012–2021," presents a sobering look at the dangers faced by riders on Finnish roads. Notably, the majority of fatal motorcycle accidents were due to running off the road, while a significant portion of fatal moped accidents involved modified mopeds exceeding the legal speed limits, which contributed to the severity of the crashes.

In motorcycle accidents between 2013 and 2022, speeding was a major factor, with 66% of motorcyclists involved in fatal accidents driving at least 10 km/h over the speed limit at the time of the crash. In addition, 35% of motorcyclists who caused these accidents were found to be intoxicated. Moped accidents from 2012 to 2021 revealed that 42% of the involved mopeds had been illegally modified to exceed speed limits, which often played a role in the occurrence of the accidents.

“Spring, as motorcyclists begin their riding season, is a critical time for all motorists to be extra vigilant. Especially at intersections, motorcyclists can go unnoticed if attention is primarily on cars. Moped and motorcycle riders can increase their visibility by wearing bright clothing and using headlights. Additionally, adhering to speed limits is crucial, as higher speeds make it difficult for other road users to notice and react to two-wheelers in time,” stated Niina Sihvola, a traffic safety researcher at OTI.

Despite nearly all fatally injured moped riders wearing helmets, more than a third had helmets that were not properly fastened, significantly reducing their effectiveness in preventing fatal injuries. The primary types of accidents that led to moped rider deaths were collisions with other vehicles and running off the road.

OTI continues to refine its methods for investigating serious injuries resulting from traffic accidents, with a specialized board examining accidents leading to severe injuries by synthesizing and refining data from existing registries. Although a significant number of injuries are still not captured in official statistics, OTI's work is crucial in providing a clearer and more comprehensive picture of traffic safety and contributing factors to severe injuries among motorcyclists and moped riders in Finland.

HT

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