A parallel campaign, urging motorcyclists to make themselves more visible, will run via six-sheet posters.
The 30 second TV advert encourages urban car drivers to look longer for bikes.
"How Close" shows a typical accident at a T-junction. The car driver, coming from a side road, casts a quick glance to the right before pulling out and turning right onto the main road.
A motorbike travelling along the main road is seen crashing into the side of the car, leaving the motorist confused and shocked. "How close does a biker have to be before you see them?" asks a voiceover.
The scenario is replayed, this time with the car driver looking for longer while the motorcyclist passes harmlessly in front of the car. The end line reads: "THINK! take longer to look for bikes".
A radio advert backs up the TV message and "acts as an in-car reminder," said a statement from the DfT.
The radio ad runs from 3rd February to 12th March. The TV ad runs from 30th January to 12th March.
In 2003, 73 per cent of all crashes involving a two-wheeled motor vehicle also involved a car.
The DfT report, ‘In-Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents’, concluded that the most common cause of motorcycle crashes – as with bicycle crashes – is a ‘right of way violation’. The majority of these incidents occur at T-junctions and "it is usually the motorist – rather than the biker – who is at fault," said the DfT.
In 65 percent of these ‘right of way’ incidents, drivers fail to see motorcyclists who other witnesses report were easily visible.
In cycling parlance, such right of way violations are called SMIDSYs ‘sorry mate, I didn’t see you.’
Were cyclists and motorcyclists routinely wired up to on-board bombs, and they exploded on the slightest impact, it’s extremely likely that motorists would miraculously be able to see two-wheelers every time…