Warning after 'summer of awful accidents' in Lancashire
A trauma surgeon has urged motorists to take care after "another summer of awful accidents" involving motorcyclists.
Daniel Redfern, from Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said people are not aware how "vulnerable" those on bikes are until they are caught up in a crash.
Riders are unlikely to escape unscathed even if they are travelling at low speeds, he added.
Latest NHS figures, obtained by the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS), show there were more than 10,000 hospital admissions for injuries involving motorcyclists in England last year.
Mr Redfern, a consultant in trauma and orthopaedics, who works at Royal Preston and Chorley and South Ribble hospitals, said: "It's been another summer of awful accidents.
"We've treated patients with injuries that have threatened their limbs, as well as spinal fractures and spinal cord injuries resulting in full or partial paralysis."
He added: "I urge drivers to be aware of motorcyclists when they are out on the roads and implore motorcyclists not to take unnecessary risks."
Mr Redfern, who is also regional director of the RCS, said patients involved in motorbike crashes are likely to endure long-term pain, poorer life quality and possibly permanent disability.
"If a car driver and motorcyclist both have a collision at 30 mph, it is unlikely the motorcyclist will walk away from the accident," he said.
"The safety cage of a car provides protection.
"I don't think motorcyclists or car drivers appreciate how vulnerable a motorcyclist is until they are involved in an accident. They will be that much worse injured."
There were 10,073 hospital admissions for motorcyclist injuries in England in 2016/17, the figures from NHS Digital show, slightly lower than 2006/07 when there were 10,717.
Those admitted to hospital for motorcycle-related injuries last year were most likely to be aged 20 to 29, with 2,992 admissions, including 2,795 involving men.
The number of admissions for men in this age group was up 22 per cent from a decade ago, when there were 2,298.
There was also a 65 per cent increase in admissions for people over the age of 50, from 1,320 in 2006/07 to 2,183 last year.
However, there was a 39 per cent decrease across this period in under 20s with these injuries, from 2,707 to 1,657.
The RCS said the dip could be due to new laws, which mean riders must be 24 years old to ride the most powerful motorbikes.