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In Romania the ‘urban jungle’ is a real danger to motorcyclists

When Romanian motorcyclists’ organisation MotoADN – a member of FEMA – looked into accident data, they found that motorcyclists are far from innocent. The truth hurts sometimes.

Oana Radu, MotoADN’s communications manager: “Some of these results probably won’t surprise you, others may make you wonder, and that’s okay, because that’s what we want. It is important to understand how much our traffic safety depends on ourselves. Don’t ask to be seen and respected but rather make yourself seen and respected by the way you ride day in and day out.”

“In more than half the cases the motorcyclist is to blame for the accident, which is very serious. We must never forget that on a motorcycle the risks you expose yourself to are greater. Yes, you must act as if you were invisible, and you must do everything you can to protect yourself from possible accidents. Keep in mind that a motorcycle doesn’t protect you like a car does, and you can’t afford to make mistakes. The fact that out of 407 motorcyclists involved in accidents, 253 were guilty of this cannot be ignored. The moral is simple: we are not seen in many cases, but just whining and pointing the finger won’t help us at all. It is our duty to make ourselves seen, primarily for our own safety.”

“The ‘urban jungle’ is not a myth. It can be a real danger to motorcyclists and scooter riders if they are not careful with every manoeuvre. Keep to legal speeds, don’t force your way into intersections, and don’t slip between cars at your own risk.”

“The weekend is the most dangerous for motorcyclists, with over half of the accidents (54%) being recorded on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. These are the days when most of us are on the streets, on weekend trips with friends. Many bikers only go out on two wheels on the weekends, making their presence on the streets strongly felt. Additionally, many of the weekend riders are either beginners or less experienced riders. All these factors lead to an increase in risks at the end of the week and this is reflected in the statistics.”

“It is shocking to see how many people get on a motorcycle or scooter without a license or under the influence of alcohol. It is all the more surprising as we are already exposed to so many risks, even when we ride legally. We don’t need some more risks.”

2022 was the safest year from a road safety point of view in the last decade, according to data provided by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police. The number of serious road accidents, of people who died as a result of road accidents and of seriously injured people was at the lowest recorded value in the last ten years in Romania. However, we are still talking about thousands of victims and an average of more than ten serious road accidents per day. In 2022 there were 4,711 serious road accidents, resulting in the death of 1,634 people and the serious injury of another 3,685 people.

What if we look at the statistics for motorcycles and scooters only? In short, 2022 was a little better than 2021, but without significant improvements. In 2022, the data of the Romanian Police show 407 serious road accidents in which motorcycles were involved (only seven fewer than in 2021), in 253 cases the motorcyclist was found guilty of causing it. 91 people died in serious accidents involving motorcycles in 2022 (up from 100 in 2021), and another 335 were seriously injured (up from 336 in 2021).

Contrary to the idea that the danger is greater on the roads outside the cities, in 2022 (similar to 2021), most accidents involving motorcycles, almost 80%, happened in urban areas. Most accidents involving motorcycles take place in the second part of the day, the ‘peak’ period being recorded between 14.00h and 20.00h. Not unexpectedly, the fewest incidents occur at night, when traffic is less busy. An interesting aspect: according to police data, in the case of all the accidents registered last year between 00.00h and 05.00h (in total, 18 accidents, resulting in the death of five people), the motorcyclist was found guilty of causing the accident.

What are the causes of most accidents involving motorcycles in 2022? Speed not adapted to road conditions was the main cause that led to road accidents involving motorcycles in 2022, ‘climbing’ the top of the factors from the second place in 2021. 109 serious incidents occurred as a result of not adapting the speed, 26 of people dying and another 86 being seriously injured. In the top five causes this was followed by the failure to give priority to vehicles (87 accidents), lack of looking for other traffic when changing the direction of travel (44 accidents), driving without a license (39 accidents), respectively illegal overtaking (21 accidents).

In the case of accidents caused by the motorcyclist, the main causes were the speed not adapted to the road conditions (104 accidents), riding without a license (37), riding under the influence of alcohol (18), irregular overtaking (15) and not respecting the distance between vehicles (15). On the other hand, in the case of no-fault motorcycle accidents, the two main causes were the failure to give priority (73 accidents), respectively the lack of looking for other traffic when changing the direction of travel (32 accidents). Irregular turning (7), traffic in the opposite direction (6) and irregular overtaking (6 accidents) completed the top five causes here.

Written by Adina Tudor & Oana Radu (MotoADN)

Data source: General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police

Top photograph courtesy of

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