About 70 percent of all motorcyclists always ride fully protected in the summer. This is apparent from research by DirectResearch commissioned by the RAI Association. According to the RAI Association, these figures show that most motorcyclists take safety very seriously. Despite this, there is still a group of 30 percent who take a risk in summer months by not dressing fully protected. Warmth and lack of comfort are the main reasons for this. According to the RAI Association, much progress has been made in the development of motorcycle clothing in recent years on this point.
Motorcycle clothing is the most important protection for a motorcyclist. It also increases visibility in traffic. A vast majority of motorcyclists therefore always travel fully protected during the warmer summer months, according to research among more than 500 motorcyclists. Tom Crooijmans, chairman of the Motorcycles section of the RAI Association is pleased that so many motorcyclists are taking their responsibility, but emphasizes that 30 percent still choose not to fully protect themselves in the summer. In winter this percentage is lower, about 14 percent. Motorcycle pants (20 percent) and boots/shoes (17 percent) are most often left at home in the summer. It is striking that 10 percent of this group of respondents do not always wear a motorcycle helmet.
Currently, only the motorcycle helmet is mandatory in the Netherlands. However, no less than 74 percent of all respondents are in favor of more far-reaching obligations with regard to wearing protective motorcycle clothing. When asked what would motivate them to go 100 percent protected on the road, 45 percent of the respondents answered that they would consider this if motorcycle clothing were more comfortable. 38 percent of the respondents would like to see legally established rules regarding motorcycle clothing and 30 percent would like more clarity about which clothing is safe. Finally, 18 percent say they would consider driving fully protected if there were more offers in more stylish clothing.
According to the RAI Association, many steps are being taken in the area of style and comfort. More and more attention is being paid to better ventilation, variety and style in motorcycle clothing. Also for the summer. Some motorcycle clothing is almost indistinguishable from normal casual and sports clothing, while safety is not compromised. With this you can easily travel on the street or to work, which makes the threshold to always be fully protected on the road, even lower. In addition, there are also developments in which clothing is equipped with airbags and sensors. This so-called 'connected' clothing can, for example, monitor sudden weather changes and warn motorcyclists in good time.
New European rules
Since 2018, the European rules for motorcycle clothing have been further tightened. These rules contain an extensive package of requirements that motorcycle clothing must meet today, divided into various protection classes. Because not every motorcyclist is the same and the circumstances are also quite different, there are various classifications, from A to AAA (highest class). These rules have been drawn up to better protect the motorcyclist and the degree of protection can be read easily and unambiguously.
In recent years, the number of road fatalities has fluctuated between 40 and 50 per year. In order to map the added value of motorcycle clothing even better in practice, according to RAI Association more investigation and better registration of accidents is needed. Currently, motorcycle clothing is not included in the registration of accidents, while essential information can be extracted from it to make traffic on the road even safer. According to RAI Association.