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Crash myths and crash facts

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by TonyE, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. After the most recent lot of discussions

    https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=53521&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=44

    and

    https://netrider.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=57902



    I've done some more trawling through the VicRoads Crash Stats database for 2007 (latest complete year). They're not perfect but then again they're not that inaccurate either.

    I'm coming up with figures that seem to badly contradict a lot of the accepted wisdom from some riders...

    Please bear in mind that these are only where an injury was reported - no injury - no report...

    Like rear end crashes.

    Cars running into motorcycles:................10
    Motorcycles running into cars:.................24
    Motorcycles running into motorcycles:........8
    Motorcycles running into bicycles................1

    The last one was a motorscooter hitting a bicycle on the GOR in rain and high winds... :roll:

    Of the 2021 motorcycle crashes in the database - at least 1200 of them were single vehicle crashes. (I haven't counted any that might be ambiguous or that involved animals).

    Even though at a rough count about 60% of the multi-vehicle crashes were the fault of the other vehicle - that makes only about one third of injury crashes that are caused by other vehicles.

    There's some animals in there- 51 collisions with animals - 29 of these were kangaroos. That's higher than the number of crashes with guard rails, signs or any non-motor vehicle except for trees.

    I'm still working through this but it's getting more and more obvious that it's inexperience, carelessness or just doing something stupid that's causing the bulk of single vehicle motorcycle crashes. Some will be the result of road conditions - but it's just plainly untrue that cars cause the majority of deaths and injuries - we're doing it to ourselves!
     
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  2. As the less hysterical (or more experienced, or both) among us have always known. I've only had one accident on a bike that wasn't my fault, and that was being rear-ended in heavy traffic. I can't isolate the reasons for all of the others, but they were all just me crashing, and I'm convinced more care or more skill/experience would have limited a few of them ....
     
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  3. I thought that it was only noobies that subscribed to that train of thought and that everyone else knew that the "rider error" crash was the most common.

    That's where our $50 should be going, towards rider education/training, not fixing up roads that should be made safe by the government for all road users anyway.
     
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  4. Unfortunately not. The line that it's the driver's fault is still getting pushed by some of the "independent lobbyists" and also by a significant percentage of the motorcycle media.

    It's like the WRB stats - roadside signs killed and injured more people in 2007 than ALL types of guardrails (armco, concrete and WRB's - unfortunately the figures aren't differentiated). The screams are still louder about the WRB's than about dangerous signage.

    I'm actually finding that it's not the "n00bies" who are like that these days - they get "rider responsibility" drummed into them if they attend a reputable training course. It's often the older riders (especially returning riders) who take that attitude.
     
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  5. They do actually tell you that the most common motorcycle crash is single vehicle at rider training.

    If the motorcycle runs into the car, does that necessarily make it the rider's fault? What if he/she gets merged in front of or something?
     
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  6. The million-dollar question there is, could the rider have done anything to avoid it? I see lots of guys have cars merge on them, and plenty of near-misses, but in nearly every case the rider is going a lot faster than the surrounding traffic, and the driver looks, sees no-one and merges only to find a bike in the spot that was empty a split second before. Who's fault's that? As well, many riders ride in the driver's blind spots (most Australian drivers couldn't adjust an outside mirror to save their lives), and put themselves at risk as a consequence.

    In my opinion, there are very few unavoidable accidents. Getting ploughed into from behind is probably the most unavoidable, and getting hit by an idiot running a red is another.....
     
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  7. Do "single vehicle crashes" clearly exclude those accidents where another vehicle was somehow at fault but failed to collide with the bike? (You refer to 'ambiguous' cases by which I assume you are excluding them?) Eg a car pulls out, the bike crashes in attempting to avoid a collision, and the car drives off.

    Very glad to read this post. It's what I believed anyway, but I've often wondered if I just believe it because I wanted to! I have a problem: a absolutely love riding, but I'm damn damn scared of the negative consequences! I figure that developing my safe riding skills above all others affords a certain higher degree of safety.

    You're right, but even then: even when I don't feel like splitting I will to avoid being rear-ended, which cuts out the majority of chances of rear-endings. And I agree regarding these "unavoidable incidents": while there clearly are such cases, why is it that some people have more such incidents. A mate of mine t-boned a red-light runner recently, at 80km/hr. He might have been right that "it was unavoidable", but then again he's had a few offs in a relatively short time of riding, and I wonderd just what assumptions he made (eg "green light, I'm safe to go!" which of course is simply not true!).
     
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  8. Regarding single vehicle crashes - I'm not surprised to see the figure higher, afterall motorcycles are inherently designed to fall over, i.e., they are only dynamically stable when moving and when there's sufficient traction - otherwise they tend to fall over - so we're more susceptible to crap on roads, unsealed shoulders, washing out under brakes, bad inputs etc.


    I've always had an unproven theory that riders tend to make less riding and traffic management errors than car drivers, but the consequences of those errors are greater.
     
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  9. My current score is four significant offs, consisting of one random mechanical failure, one my fault (rear ended a bus), one his fault but I should have predicted it (right of way violation on roundabout) and one very definitely his fault (shunted hard at speed in heavy traffic, which hurt).

    Even in the last case, which is probably as unavoidable as it gets, I still consider that there was more I could/should have done. The impact came out of nowhere and it shouldn't have done. I should have at least known he was there, even if my escape options were limited. Normally I keep a good watch on my mirrors, but this time I must have slipped into autopilot mode.

    Over the years I've also had a few very hairy near misses. All down to me.

    Thing is, if you're applying proper defensive riding skills, your survival space is there to protect you from both the stuff ups of others and those you make yourself. Similarly, riding to conditions means not only taking account of road, weather and traffic volume, but also the characteristics of individual vehicles around you in that traffic eg spotting the P-plate Commodore with five baseball caps and a slab in it and staying well clear.

    So yes, I broadly agree that many riders could do much more to ensure their own safety.
     
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  10. In the 02/08 issue of Two wheels magazine (the one with the green zx-10r on the front) there is a very good feature article called "Crashing and How to Avoid It". It has a lot of good information on crash statistics and some safety tips.

    I tried to google it, but couldn't find it - looks like you guys will need to get a lend of a copy.

    The article agrees with the statistics of the OP; that the majority of rider fatalities and crashes were single vehicle accidents.

    I read this article (and many others) before i started riding and it really put things into perspective for me, as before i started really looking into riding on the road, i was always told (by non-riders, and some older riders who haven't touched abike in decades) that other drivers were the main problem.
     
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  11. It's completely anecdotal but I'll second that. I've been riding for 4 years and had 3 accidents. In all accidents the driver was at fault and everyone walked away though I'll admit the accidents, at least 2 of them anyway, could have been avoided had I been in less of a rush (not speeding but just hasty).

    It's a shame I don't learn the first time...
     
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  12. Try the odds link in my sig for a decent how to avoid crashing article
     
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  13. It's a dead link Robsalv, is that intentional?
     
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  15. Just wondering how many of these involved vehicles coming from the opposite direction. ( ie drifting over the centreline ).

    Was reading something last night which recommended left corner entries be approached from the centre of your lane. This of course means you take a tighter line, which may require more lean, but it keeps you away from vehicles that may drift across mid corner.
     
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  16. Anyone who's read any of my posts will have seen almost all of my rants directed towards the need for better rider and driver education, and less focus on punitive speed enforcement which only pushes the attitude that if we're under the limit, we're safe.

    I'm in California in the USA again at present. It's always an eye-opener over here on the freeways. The freeway speed limit is around 105kph, but 130kph seems to be the more typical speed that the traffic flows at, with enough people doing 150kph that if you wanted to run with them, you certainly wouldn't be alone in doing it. Above 150kph seems to be where the line gets drawn for most, if only because most of the freeways here are in a significantly worse state of repair than most of the freeways around Melbourne.

    Go check out Californian crash/fatality statistics and you'll find that they're roughly inline with Australia, despite the very lax speeding enforcement policy over here (in California specifically, can't say that's true of other USA states).

    In fact, the only countries that seem to significantly better Australia (heavy anti-speed focus) or California (lax speed focus) but both with about the same level of driver education would be Germany and some other European countries which do offer very strict driver education regimes.

    The focus is all wrong in Australia. Speed is only ever a contributing factor in an accident which almost always originally caused through poor driver/rider actions and inexperience. Train people better and the road toll will drop.

    Training costs money though. Being lax about speed enforcement earns less revenue. It's fairly plain to see that Australia's road safety policy is all about money - that being spending as little as possible while making as much as possible. True safety rarely enters into it unless pushed heavily by focus groups.

    The focus groups need to get on target and start pushing the rider and driver training agenda more heavily.
     
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  17. Hmm... the statistics lie.

    I'll volunteer myself as an example: both my road accidents were 'single-vehicle' accidents according to these sort of stats. But the first was caused by a car turning left from the right hand lane in front of me - I didn't actually hit him though, so it wasn't a multi-vehicle accident. The second was caused by a dipstick who hit me deliberately and drove off - no evidence, so again, not a multi-vehicle accident.

    While I'll admit the latter is not common (thankfully), the former certainly is: the car causes the accident, the motorcyclist avoids the collision but stacks anyway.

    But is that really the point? I doubt any biker would have a problem accepting responsibility for crashing when they're flying along beyond their skill level on a weekend blast. It's stupid, sure, but it happens and it's our own fault. What we don't like is being wiped out by some inconsiderate twat, who was in too much of a hurry or just doesn't care enough to take a half-second glance over their shoulder. Moreover, what we REALLY don't like is being deliberately targeted by said fcuknuckles.
     
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  18. 's ambiguous and tricky, isn't it?

    Like when I see people talking about deliberately locking up the rear brake to lowside the bike, to avoid the risk of a crash. I still haven't figured that one out. ;)

    It's very zen.
     
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