Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Fatalities - Gold Coast Hinterland

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by Fractalz, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. Posted below is an article from the local rag about sad fatalities on the roads in the hinterland hills of the Gold Coast.
    We have some wonderful twisty bits here but sadly riders continue to come to grief :-(
    There is no doubt older riders (>50) are appearing more often in fatality stats ...
    why is this so and how can it be addressed?

    Discuss :)

    Gold Coast Hinterland road horror: 12 deaths in a year
  2. It would be interesting to know what type of bike how long they've been riding for, if they're returning riders. Etc.
  3. The police officer quoted in the article makes a good point about rider training. I also wonder about attitudes of returning or new riders in that age group. Do people both underestimate the likelihood of losing control of their motorcycle and overestimate their abilities on the basis of long-term, accident-free driving?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. Hang on....out of the 12 fatalities, 7 were motorcyclists. That's about 59%. And the ages bugged me somewhat so I ran the numbers. The average age of the riders was approximately 41. Approximate only because the last rider was 'believed to be in his 40's'. Also the age gap between the second oldest (48 ) and the oldest (59) is 11 years which bumped the average up. If we discounted the 59 year old the average age would be 38. This is hardly a problem for 50 plus riders.

    I'm all for extra training and continually improving, but I've seen a lot of news about 'older' drivers and riders recently which is beginning to concern me. This morning I was reading an article that suggested an "S" plate for senior drivers. How about a "D" plate for drunk driver and drug drivers then?
  5. Sure and that would be right as to % of fatalities but in here we are focussed on riders?
    I take your point though as older riders and drivers may both be operating under older teachings than younger folk ... a valid observation thanks :)
  6. The numbers I used were solely based on riders FractalzFractalz . My concern is that there is a constant focus on older people. I don't want to see more nannying that begets more regulations that take away personal freedoms just because someone reaches a certain age. Be they rider or driver. :)
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. I see no freedums being infringed.
    The stats I see show younger rider fatalities are decreasing but older riders >50 are increasing.
    The question remains why? .... what is it that is the problem?
  8. The problem would require an in depth study of when people begin their riding life and a whole gamut of other contextual data. Add to that the ever changing landscape of bike design (power, weight, etc) disposable income (cheap 250 or a more expensive and powerful bike) and other things such as time available to ride.

    For instance, retirees have more time to ride, therefore the averages of having an accident may increase. Even here on NR, many new riders are reporting 'starting late'... myself included. The older you are when learning a new skill, the more time it takes. I have a microcosm study in my home. My 21 year old son and I started riding at virtually the same time. There is no doubt that he is a better rider than me hands down. His control and reflexes are way beyond what I am capable of.

    Also, it may be that late starters have stronger ingrained survival reactions which may lead to succumbing to them in an 'oh sh!t' moment. Such as panic braking in corners and standing the bike up which then puts them in danger.

    No expert. Just discussing.
  9. A left field input =D

  10. I very much doubt there is one answer to this.It would make interesting reading the Coroners Reports, sad but interesting.Something should be learned from this to teach others to avoid similar issues.But its simpler to lower the speed limit to 60kph anywhere there are a few corners.I wounder if an online site with these reports would have some impact on the riding community.Be tough on the families involved though.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. It's interesting to note though that there seems to be far more fatalities around that small stretch of GC hinterland than other nearby areas. For instance the road from Rathdowney through Palen Ck to Woodenbong is far more challenging, has an unachievable 100kph speed limit, yet fewer fatalities? Why is this?

    I'm a returning rider who's been back on the bike for almost 3 years now and have done 95 500 klms in that time. Yes there are differences in the bikes, the handling is incredible now and I have 200hp on tap whereas "back in the day" 90hp was a more common figure. Yet I'm having a ball and no "oh crap" moments.

    A mate whose riding I respect the most, kept riding whilst I wasn't. He is a better rider in that he comfortably takes bends faster than I do. I believe he is what I would have been had I not taken the break. Occasionally I'll push and keep up, or give him a bit of hurry up if I'm leading, but most of the time I simply couldn't be bothered.

    I had a Blackbird and now a ZX-14R, yet I own them because they are nice bikes not purely because they are fast bikes. It is up to me how I ride them. I have fun and I'm not always impeccably behaved.

    What's the secret? Why do I feel like I'm safe out there when others in precisely my situation are dying? Is it my attitude? My skill? My instinct? Am I next?

    Who knows? All I know is I'm not going to stop riding, and to this day I love riding the gold coast hinterland.
    • Like Like x 5
  12. Next few days I will be doing a 4 day run through some of the better Snowy roads on both sides of the border. I usually have 1 or 2 O SHIT moments in those 4 days over the years .There are a couple of blokes faster than me a a few slower.That doesn't bother me at my age.Happy to be still at it.I think those that like to scare themselves more than me might be those that push to close to the edge. My goal is to have NO O SHIT moments, and that usually happens.Even pushing along on great bike rides I don't know well. Its a bit hard to speculate with zero facts other than a few simple numbers.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. I think it's going to be a very hard task to pin down the major contributing factors, because (AFAIK) the recording of information about each fatality doesn't seem to provide enough details to draw those kinds of conclusions.
    I have no doubt that the investigating teams do their job thoroughly, and I imagine that any coroner's reports would also have sufficient detail. But unless that level of detail imakes it into further research, we are left with the old statistical and tick-box methodology and that has led Victoria down the garden path.
    Not only age/experience but also levels of training; the type, age and condition of the bike; the health of the rider... just some things that are not routinely mentioned when these things are discussed.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Strange that they make mention that the majority of the fatalities have been in relation to cruisers. I always knew those bloody cruisers were a death trap. :)

    Also I lol'ed at the Ulysses dude talking about the positives of riding in a group. Something they are not allowed to do under law in QLD anymore.
  15. Nah I've been in group rides of up to 60 motorcycles through the Gold Coast hinterland since the laws came in and never had a problem, in fact cops have been really good to us and really supportive. They are only looking for OCMG members.
  16. I've been on group rides through there too and have been harassed beyond belief. To the point that we stop prior to crossing the border and disperse in smaller groups at intervals for the last leg back into Brisbane.

    It was probably due to more than half of the individuals being affiliated with a certain target demographic....but still.

    I would think it depends a lot of the policemen and those you're riding with.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Bummer! Was that just because you were on cruisers? I admit I was with a mix of cruisers, small bikes, naked bikes and sports/sports tourers. As you suggest perhaps we didn't look like the target demographic?

    That's harsh hey ...
  18. Interestingly, all road safety authorities subscribe to Vision Zero type philosophies which has the safe people pillar, but nowhere in the safe people pillar is there any talk of ongoing training to make better road users. You get initial training then a whole lot about compliance to laws via enforcement. So the cop might be speaking some common sense, but he aint going to have any official support since it's not part of the strategy.

    Where are these stats?

    There is QLD research (CARRS-Q?) only a couple of years old, specifically about older riders/returning riders, and it clearly showed that there wasn't an unrepresentative spike. Wirth finding.

    The other thing is that fatality numbers are not necessarily a good measure to use because if there are more older riders featuring in the stats, that could very well be due to a skew in the demographic (it's getting older, there's a larger proportion of older riders than younger riders) rather than some inferred suggestion of dopey inexperienced returning riders. PLUS older bodies don't bounce as well, so injury severity and recovery length are proportional to age. It bugs me when one dimensional analysis is applied to raw fatality stats in order to call for policy.

    A better metric is crash data (so all KSI's) which is analysed for rider age and recent riding experience. THAT will create a better picture and indicate where the hot spot really is.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. Have a look at this thread. Austroads Motorcycle In-depth Crash Study

    It's heavy going but seems to suggest older riders on sports bikes as the most at risk group. I'm slowly going through it, but it's more recent and cast a wider net than the CARRS-Q report.

    I have several concerns but I'll read the detail before making too much comment.
  20. I would think some relevant data would be on the numbers of active riders in different age groups, and how often they ride. I suspect, but have no evidence to back it up, that the percentage of older riders may have increased, but that many of them are "weekenders" only, and so may not be having daily reinforcement of the riding and roadcraft skills. In WA there seems to be a preponderance of news stories on Sunday nights showing an "older" (45+) rider dying, normally at an intersection on the way home from a ride. I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but it does pose a question in my mind.