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In-Depth Study of Motorcycle Accidents

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by Mouth, Feb 25, 2005.

  1. Thought some might be interested in the major findings of an in-depth motorcycle accidents research study that was released late last year. It was completed in Europe by the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers.

    PTW = Powered Two Wheelers


    The 921 on-scene, in-depth accident investigations have provided a large volume of data related to the general characteristics of PTW accidents; including accident causation and rider and passenger injury information. The outcome of these investigations can be considered in the identification, development and introduction of countermeasures.

    The major findings of this study are as follows:

    1. In 37% of cases, the primary accident contributing factor was a human error on the part of the PTW rider. In some situations, the human errors that occurred involved skills that were beyond those that typical drivers or operators might currently have. This is often due to the extreme circumstances of some of the accident cases, including an insufficient amount of time available to complete collision avoidance. (Sources: Tables 4.1, 5.23). In 13% of all cases, there was a decision failure on the part of the PTW rider. (Sources: Figure 4.1, Table C.5)

    2. Among the secondary contributing factors, PTW riders failed to see the other vehicle (OV) and they also made a large number of faulty decisions, i.e., they chose a poor or incorrect collision avoidance strategy.

    3. The number of cases involving alcohol use among the PTW riders was less than 5%, which is low in comparison to other studies, but such riders were more likely to be involved in an accident. (Source: Table 7.9)

    4. In comparison to the exposure data, unlicenced PTW riders, illegally operating a PTW for which a licence is required, have a significantly increased risk of being involved in an accident. (Source: Table 7.5)

    5. PTW riders between 41 and 55 years of age were found to be under-represented, suggesting that they may have a lower risk of being involved in an accident when compared to other rider age categories. (Source: Figure 7.1)

    6. When compared with the exposure data, 18 to 25 year old riders were found to be over-represented. (Source: Figure 7.1)

    7. In 50% of cases, the primary accident contributing factor was a human error on the part of the OV driver. (Source: Table 4.1)

    8. OV drivers holding PTW licences were less likely to commit a perception failure than those without a PTW licence, i.e., they did not see the PTW or its rider. (Sources: Figure 7.8, Table C.17)

    9. In about 1/3 of accidents PTW riders and OV drivers failed to account for visual obstructions and engaged in faulty traffic strategies. (Sources: Tables 4.11, 4.12, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.6)

    10. Traffic control violations were frequently reported, in 8% of the cases for PTW riders and in 18% for OV drivers. (Sources: Tables 6.10, 6.12)

    11. Amongst the wide diversity of PTW accident and collision configurations that were observed in this study, not one configuration dominated. (Sources: Figure 3.4, Table C.4)

    12. 90% of all risks to the PTW rider, both vehicular and environmental, were in front of the PTW rider prior to the accident. (Source: Figure 5.6)

    13. Among the primary contributing factors, over 70% of the OV driver errors were due to the failure to perceive the PTW. (Sources: Figure 4.1, Table C.5)

    14. The roadway and OVs were the most frequently reported collision partner. In 60.0% of accidents, the collision partner was a passenger car. (Source: Table 3.4)

    15. Tampering in order to increase performance was observed by visual inspection in 17.8% of all moped cases. This value is lower than those reported in other studies. The exposure study only shows 12.3% of tampering. (Source: Table 5.30)

    16. Only modified conventional street motorcycles were found to be over-represented in the accident data. There was no evidence of an increased risk associated with riding any other PTW style. (Sources: Figure 5.1, Table C.6)

    17. There were PTW technical problems in less than 1% of the accidents. Most of these were related to the tyres, illustrating the need for regular PTW inspections by the owner. There were no cases found by the teams in which an accident was caused by PTW design or manufacture. (Sources: Tables 4.1, 4.25, 4.26)

    18. In over 70% of the cases the PTW impact speeds were below 50 km/h. (Source: Table 5.14)

    19. In 18% of all cases, PTW travelling speeds were greater than or less than the surrounding traffic and this speed difference was considered to be a contributing factor. (Source: Table 4.13)

    20. 71.2% of all PTW riders attempted some form of collision avoidance immediately prior to impact. Of these, 32% experienced some type of loss of control during the manoeuvre. (Source: Table 5.20 and 5.21)

    21. 90.4% of the PTW riders wore helmets. However, 9.1% of these helmets came off the wearer’s head at some time during the accident, due to improper fastening or helmet damage during the accident. Overall, helmets were found to be an effective protective device to reduce the severity of head injuries. (Sources: Tables 9.5, 9.8, 9.11, 9.12)

    22. 55.7% of PTW rider and passenger injuries were to the upper and lower extremities. The majority of these were minor injuries, e.g. abrasions, lacerations and contusions. Appropriate clothing was found to reduce, but not completely eliminate, many of these minor injuries. (Source: Figures 9.3, 9.13)

    23. Roadside barriers presented an infrequent but substantial danger to PTW riders, causing serious lower extremity and spinal injuries as well as serious head injuries. (Source: Figure 6.1, Table C.9)

    24. For PTW riders, a roadway maintenance defect caused the accident or was a contributing factor in 3.6% of all cases. (Source: Table 4.17)

    25. For PTW riders, a traffic hazard caused the accident or was a contributing factor in 3.8% of all cases. (Source: Table 4.19)

    26. Weather-related problems either caused the accident or contributed to accident causation in 7.4% of PTW accidents in the study. (Source:Table 4.23)
  2. 16. Only modified conventional street motorcycles were found to be over-represented in the accident data. There was no evidence of an increased risk associated with riding any other PTW style. (Sources: Figure 5.1, Table C.6)

    Big surprise there :roll: , how many bikes are insured without modifications noted, that could be as simple as a ventura rack! :?
  3. "A modified conventional street PTW was defined as any conventional street PTW which had been modified with aftermarket components (e.g., exhaust system, etc.)."
  4. On the surface, this is good info, but for it to be really meaningful statistically, the qualification parameters have to be disclosed. For instance, in item 16, what constitutes a "modification"?

    Overall, a good starting point for thought and discussion; thanks Jason. (Yeah, I know, but like the infinite number of monkeys hypothesis, there HAS to be some thought demonstrated on this forum someday, right?)

    Good to know I am in the under-represented age group. Now if I can just remember where I left my keys,.... and glasses,.... and walking stick.
  5. Damn, Jason; you beat me with an answer. Do aftermarket pipes REALLY constitute a mod if they do not give any extra power, though? Some people might get them just 'coz they are cheaper.
  6. Your question on modification was answered above (probably wasn't there when you read the post and posted your question). As for the really meaningful observation ... it's a 173 page report with full disclosure. It's also accompanied by a 349 page full account and diagnostic of their methodology, processes, and summary data of each accident attended (all within 24hrs of the accident, by an experienced motorcycle assesor)
  7. Erhh! Hmmn...Hello!
  8. Regardless of purpose, it's still a modification :) All that particular statistic really shows is that a fair proportion of riders add some sort of aftermarket addition to their bikes, so I wouldn't concentrate on it too much.
  9. Tell me I'm wrong but I can't see anything related to accidents with animals?

    It would also be nice to know whether the majority of helmets that came undone were of the seat belt buckle type?
  10. Don't doubt it, Jason. It just helps to know how they classify things. Is the report online?
  11. It wasn't a major finding. 3 cases recorded (0.3%) where the collision partner was an animal. No reports from rider or witness of animals being a causation of accidents.

    3½ pages on helmets, but type of fastening was not studied.
  12. Good, but flawed study it would seem.
  13. Flawed assumption.
  14. shall agree to disagree?
  15. is there a link to this study? I would be interested in downloading it and reading it in greater depth. (you (mouth) obviously have access to it somehow).

    I am always very skeptical about reading summarised conclusions / reports because often things can be taken out of context (as an academic I need to be this way). This explains some of the reasons why you have had to make clarifications when people have asked questions.
  16. Sure :) Put perhaps you should read the study so as you have some basis and information on which to base your thinking/assumption that it is or isn't flawed :)
  17. Does this mean that due to the speed of the other vehicle, that the rider could not adequately assess the situation and take evasive action?

    The other vehicle came out of nowhere maybe!!! Funny how you can choose a poor or incorrect collision avoidance strategy when all you can think of is "FAAAAAARRRRRK!!!

    So, riders are more likely to ride a PTW as responsible people who take drinking and being in charge of a vehicle as irresponsible?? More likely to have an accident??? True, and I guess that after a few too many you are probably less in control.

    How many were included in the accident data?

    Interesting considering some recent stats bandied about. What are the figures for above 55??

    By how much? Did any of these riders also posess an OV drivers licence?

    So, does this go back to point 2 where PTW failed to see the OV?

    The SMIDSY factor. Any particular age group represented here?

    Potholes, crap on the road maybe?? What visual obstructions did the OV's fail to see?? Other cars and riders?

    Why is frequently assessed at 8%?? Could have re-phrased this instead of making riders look like the guilty party. How many of these 8% were un-riders?

    Be good to see, in regards to vehicular accidents, how the accident occured?? i.e. U-turn or other type of turn in front, emerging from a side street (but still in front) into the traffic.

    SMIDSY...happens a fair bit.

    So, can we assume that this is a pretty high statistic and that OV's (drivers) will be offered defensivce driving courses?

    I havent seen after market pipes on any mopeds....

    Do they explain this further and explain the sorts of mods involved??

    Less than 1% suggests that again, most riders are responsble. But in regards to tyres, again, what is the ratio, was it front or rear, and, at what point is a tyre deemed to be at such a danger that it is included as contributing to the cause of an accident??

    Another interesting statistic indicating that maybe we take more care in lower speed areas.

    In what situations were the accidents? intersection, lane splitting, over taking etc....Doesnt indicate anything really....

    How does this compare to OV's?

    Anyone know the sample size???
    To me, they have reported that really, riders are a pretty responsible lot who dont speed too often, look after their bikes and love their mums :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:

    Its interesting again reading the points included and think back to the report on WRB's. Batchelor based his assumptions on teh level of risk associated with installing WRB's on a report from European country.
    Will he take any notice of this one?
  18. The fact that animals don't account for much flaws the study.
    The fact that buckle type is not included in the helmet findings flaws the study.
    That is unless whoever funded the study wanted particular findings.

    Anyone who rides in the country (and city sometimes) knows that dogs, cats, sheep, cows, kangaroos, emus etc. etc. reguarly cause motorcycle accidents, so I presume that it's got to be much the same in europe except for the names of a couple of them that is.
  19. You have documented research that conflicts with their findings? Or do you expect that they should make it up if they weren't present?

    They're study wasn't about helmet component specifics. Had their study been on the performance of helmet fasteners, and they weren't included then your assumption would have merit. That the study includes 3½ pages on helmets and their overall performance during accidents is quite adequate for the purpose of their study.

    Exactly, they probably weren't interested, for this study in the specifc functioning of motorcycle helmet components. It doesn't make the study flawed for what is was supposed to achieve.

    I've ridden in rural areas lots and never once had an animal come close to causing an accident. Know of a few people that also regularly ride in rural area's that have had close calls, but never had an actual accident because of it.
  20. Point 1. Bull, it's what they observed, how does them only observing 3 crashes relating to animals make it flawed? I admit it seems low but we're only counting accidents, not near misses. I've missed many a furry critter and have hit none (touch wood)

    Point 2. Irrelevant, not flawed. Do they mention if they were full faced or open? Also irrelevant to the point.

    Point 3. Don't go all conspiracy theory on us Scoots, stick to the facts.[/quote]