Who We Are / Our Mission
On average, six motorcyclists are killed and nearly 100 seriously injured every week in the UK. Over 19,000 motorcyclists are injured on our roads each year. Because of the forces involved when a motorcyclist is involved in a collision at speed, their injuries are often catastrophic, or fatal.
Our pilot research over a two-year period in Dorset showed that around 80% of those motorcyclists who were critically injured or killed, could have avoided being in a collision, had they modified their riding when recognising risks taught by the DocBike charity further rider skills courses. It’s this awareness of why motorcyclists crash that we can give to motorcyclists to keep them from being involved in a collision.
Injury Prevention: Our Aims
Our injury prevention aims are:
- To eradicate all motorcycle related deaths in the UK
- To significantly reduce or eradicate all critical injuries caused by motorcycle crashes
- To help motorcyclists become more skilful riders, to avoid being in a crash
These may seem bold ambitions, but they are achievable. Through our research programme, we will learn about what factors most commonly lead to a motorcycle being involved in a serious collision and what methods of engagement work the best to reduce the likelihood of someone being involved in a collision in the future.
Through our partnership working on a national level, we can share our findings and feed these back to change the elements of the motorcycle riding test; ensuring it is most effective in assessing riders abilities not only to handle the bike correctly, but to perceive the factors that are most likely to get them killed.
Provision of Roadside Critical Care
Whilst this is not the main focus of the charity, the doctors and critical care paramedics/practitioners that ride the bikes are the most skilled and practiced at managing the seriously injured available in our society. Many work on their local air ambulance, so the nature of their work includes managing critically ill or injured people on a daily basis. Already integrated into their local pre-hospital governance structure, they are the emergency service response to serious collisions as part of their daily duties. What is different with the DocBike is that instead of waiting on base for the call to an incident; when the DocBike is out and about between taskings, it is engaging in injury prevention with motorcyclists and encouraging the public to take up measures that will reduce their chances of being in a serious collision for the rest of their biking lives.
Research and evidence base forms the cornerstones of everything that we do in the DocBike charity. If there’s no proof that what we’re doing is making a difference, we will change the way that we work until it does.
We have a data sharing agreement with the Trauma Audit and Research Network – the body that collects information on every patient admitted to hospital throughout the UK with traumatic injuries. We use this information to understand which motorcyclists are involved in collisions. Our work with the National Police Chief’s Council then allows us to understand why these motorcyclists were involved in a collision and hence forward instigate measures through the National Motorcycle Working Group to make riders aware of what is most likely to cause them to be knocked off their bikes.
Our PhD studentship programme in association with Bournemouth University looks not only at why motorcyclists are involved in collisions and what they can do to avoid it, but also how effective our engagement with ‘at-risk’ motorcyclists are. By understanding what is likely to reduce the chances of a motorcyclist being involved in a serious or fatal crash, we can share our learning worldwide and help to significantly reduce the number of motorcyclists who are killed and critically injured each year.
Family and Patient Support
When a loved one is suddenly killed, the ripple effects through our society are huge. Devastating for friends and family; but also of significant impact on work colleagues and out local society. We are not able to provide this service at present, but a future direction that we look to implement in the future is a support structure for families who have recently been bereaved and the ability to signpost patients who have serious injuries to psychological and additional physical support.