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25 February 2016

Double the risk for motorcyclists who shun boots

New research into the protective benefits of motorcycle boots has been released ahead of the 2016 Superbikes World Championship round at Phillip Island this weekend.

The latest TAC research shows motorcyclists without boots stand almost double the chance of receiving lower-leg open wounds in a crash.

TAC Senior Road Safety Manager Samantha Cockfield said the findings were a timely reminder of the importance of wearing motorcycle-specific footwear, as riders planned their trip to Superbikes.

"Everyday footwear provides almost no protection in a crash. In many cases, it will be dragged off as the rider tumbles along the road,” Ms Cockfield said.

“Motorcycle boots are specifically designed to stay on during a crash and provide protection from impacts and abrasion. Other ankle covering boots, such as work boots, are better than everyday shoes but not as good as protective boots.

“Preparing for a weekend ride such as a trip down to Superbikes, includes assessing your protective gear and kitting up with the best you can afford. We’ve seen too many rider deaths and injuries on our roads already this year and want all riders to keep as safe as possible,” Ms Cockfield said.

The study revealed that 47 per cent of riders who were wearing inappropriate footwear such as shoes, runners, sandals or thongs when they crashed, received open-wound injuries. By contrast, only 25 per cent of motorcyclists wearing boots received open wounds.

Open-wound injuries include flesh wounds, amputations, burns and superficial injuries.

The TAC surveyed 763 Victorian motorcyclists who were injured in on-road crashes between 2010 and 2014. Of those who were wearing riding boots in a crash, 47 per cent received a lower limb injury – compared to 55 per cent of riders wearing other boots and 63 per cent for those wearing other shoes.

The TAC will be at Superbikes this weekend speaking with riders about the importance of wearing protective clothing and general rider safety. Riders planning their weekend away can head to, for ride tips from motorcycle legends including Troy Bayliss.

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