Matthew Phillips with his BMW R nineT. He is recovering from a serious motorbike crash and has purchased a new bike.
Matthew Phillips with his BMW R nineT. He is recovering from a serious motorbike crash and has purchased a new bike. Cade Mooney

2015 one of the worst years for motorcycle fatalities

MATT Phillips suffered 50 fractures when he crashed his motorcycle, but he is one of the lucky ones - he's alive.

Mr Phillips is still in recovery from his crash, which happened in March last year when he lost control of his bike on Obi Obi Road west of Mapleton.

"I just misjudged a corner and hit the guard rail, I actually can't really remember what I did," he said.

"I had multiple fractures of the rib cage and vertebrae with 50 fractures all up."

Mr Phillips said people getting on a bike needed to familiarise themselves with their bike and their surroundings. He said: "You need to be aware of the surface you ride on because you're never going to know what will be on the road."

Mr Phillips was still regularly seeing doctors as he recovered from the crash, but the mere fact he's alive at all is a stroke of luck, given Queensland Transport figures show more than 60% of motorcycle crashes in the state this year had resulted in the deaths of the riders.

Matthew Phillips thanks paramedic Danielle Trewin after his motorcycle accident.
Matthew Phillips thanks paramedic Danielle Trewin after his motorcycle accident. Warren Lynam

The figures show this has been one of the worst years in recent memory for motorcycle fatalities, topped only by 2013 when 66.7% of crashes - just over two-thirds - of motorcycle crashes ended in death.

Queensland Motorcycle Training instructor Mark Langford says the key to safe riding is to remember to take it slow and be aware.

"You've always got to ride well within yourself, always ride within that 'what if' factor," he said. "The big thing is it's not just about the ride, it's about getting home at the end of the day and taking your time coming home."

Mr Langford said motorcyclists are often their own biggest risk on the road.

"A lot of motorcyclists are their own worst enemies at times," he said.

"One of the first questions I'll actually ask people when they come in for Q-Ride is 'What do you think is the biggest hazard to you on the road?' It's yourself.

"That pretty quickly throws it into perspective that it's actually us, ourselves, getting things wrong."

Mr Langford said some motorists were unaware of new laws for motorcyclists and it was resulting in riders being put into some pretty hairy situations.

Motorcycle crashes resulting in death

  • 2007: 47.9%
  • 2008: 47.1%
  • 2009: 52.5%
  • 2010: 40%
  • 2011: 51.2%
  • 2012: 49.1%
  • 2013: 66.7%
  • 2014: 45.9%
  • 2015: 61.5%