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[Ireland] Accident study, ABS is no replacement for training

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by robsalvv, May 3, 2012.

  1. FYI:

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    A new motorcycle accident study from Northern Ireland has warned that ABS braking systems are no replacement for effective rider and driver training

    A recently released motorcycle accident study that examines a number of fatal motorcycle collisions in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2010 has called for a stronger emphasis on rider/driver hazard perception training, rather than focusing simply on the adoption of automotive technologies such as ABS (anti-lock braking systems).

    Titled Northern Ireland Motorcycle Fatality Report 2012, the study was conducted by a collaboration of academics on behalf of the Northern Ireland riders' rights group, Right to Ride Ltd. The paper takes an in-depth look at a total of 36 motorcycle accidents which resulted in the deaths of 41 motorcyclists, and attempts to analyse the widely varying conditions and circumstances that led to each -- and their underlying causal factors -- before making recommendations that may potentially reduce motorcycle fatalities.

    With the proposal of mandatory ABS systems currently before the law-makers of the European Union, in its recommendations the paper has called for caution when it comes to the adoption of technology. "This [ABS] technology is relevent in some circumstances but not all," the paper states. "At this point in time, the application of ABS is limited to straight sections of road; it is not yet designed to work when the motorcycle is in a lean. The development of braking systems that can function as efficiently when the motorcycle is leaning either left or right may improve casualty rates. However, care should be taken about too much focus on technology rather than on good training and attitude," it continues.

    The paper identifies that in two of the 39 accidents, the deaths of the riders involved may have been prevented had their bikes been fitted with ABS systems.

    The paper also calls for a greater emphasis in training drivers to scan the road ahead for vulnerable road users by using driving simulators, and that a rider's hazard perception skills were a vital key to their on-road safety. "The consensus was that the only reliable way to prevent motorcyclist injuries and deaths is to prevent the collision in the first place, which means the rider needs to get his/her eyes up and scanning ahead, before taking evasive action when a potential collision is still several seconds from happening," it states.

    Click here to download the full 32-page report.


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  2. Most car collisions happen with both vehicles are fully under control of the drivers, with no ABS or stability control interaction, or at the very least ABS/stability control intervention only at the point where the collision is going to happen anyway. i.e. the drivers fail to make proper observations and drive under full control into a hazard which they noticed too late.

    No reason to suppose this is not also the case with motorcycles. ABS will not save you from the large majority of collisions, because the majority of collisions result as a failure of situational awareness and hazard perception. ABS will save you from some collisions. ABS will also save you from minor but potentially expensive drops where you screw up and lock a front wheel.

    The report author notes that ABS could have made a difference in 2 of the 39 collisions... this seems believable to me. Considering that the cost of ABS is trivial in comparison to the overall cost of m/c ownership and you can completely recover the cost of ABS by not having a silly minor drop which ABS can help you out with anyway, it is the preverbial "no-brainer" to get a bike with ABS.

    If a vehicle at a junction who you think has seen you pulls out in front of you while you are going at 110km/h, what would you rather have? ABS or no ABS?

    BTW, the description of the accidents, which is relatively comprehensive makes for good reading. If you read how real world collisions happen, you have a chance of avoiding one yourself.
  3. Just re-read one of the conclusions in the report:

    The consensus of the group was that technology can be helpful. In the case of the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), there were two cases in the study in which this braking system may have made a difference. In both cases, the motorcycles were 1100cc engine sizes, one was a Super Sport and the other was a Super Sport Tourer. The riders were on a straight section of the road, one applied the front brake and in doing so, locked the wheel and went down on the right side.

    The second applied the rear brake severely and also went down on the right side. According to the investigator, when the motorcycle goes down, there is no control. Anything to keep the bike upright means that potentially that there is a better chance of avoiding an impact or it would be at a lower speed. In that second or two before impact, there are a couple of cases of looking at the line that the motorcycle has taken once it has gone down on its side, which indicates for example if the hazard is coming from the right, the rider might try and steer to the left while braking. But if he/she goes down and slides, they keep going to the left, whereas if they were able to stay up, it is possible that they would be able to go around behind the hazard and the collision would have been avoided. But he said, we would not hear about the cases where ABS has worked – because the accident has been avoided. Technology has a role to play. There is greater scope for the application in cars. Having directional control through braking should help.
  4. How can you make the comments you've made above and then be such a dunce in the other ABS thread?? This is why ABS is not the life saver people think it is.

    There's a reason why ABS isn't good in corners? Why do you think that is? This is why you need to be certain that your riding style fits in with the ABS implementation, otherwise the advantage of avoiding a nuisance drop could cost you far more dearly somewhere else.

    The study is somewhat dangerous to draw large conclusions from though, but the hindsight overlay with ABS is useful.

    I get the impression that bike ABS hasn't penetrated deeply in Ireland, which surprises me given their weather conditions. IIRC I don't think there were any ABS'd bikes in the bend crash stats. But you can't really draw any conclusions from that, because if lots of ABS'd optioned bikes are making it through bends and not appearing in the stats, that's probably saying more about the riders and their cornering approach than the technology.

    Slightly ambiguous statement. There's effectively no directional control on a motorcycle under heavy braking. There is on a car when the wheels are allowed to keep turning.
  5. can you please point out one thread, one post or even one HINT where ANYONE has suggested here that ABS is a replacement for training??
  6. What on earth is the logical continuation from my previous post to the one you've just made?

    And in respect to your question, it's almost UNIVERSAL by the authorities that they don't support training to gain MC casualty reductions and like our TAC actively state this, but they whole heartedly support ABS and claim there'll be self evident fatality and injury reductions as a result.

    You know, for someone so often without a clue, you talk an awful lot.
  7. I have a perfect example to follow

    you really should get out riding a bit, and stop trawling the 'net for victim stuff....
  8. I found a few points in this paper interesting. For one, I had no idea that the dipped mc headlights were harder to see from the cab of a truck. I'm assuming that having lights on high beam would increase the visibility, both from a lower angle and from a truck cab......? Given that nearly 44% of the collisions involved another vehicle "pulling out or performing a U turn" in front of the rider, this seems to be important from a visibility perspective.

    I'm also wondering if the "pipe and slippers" image that holds over there in relation to advanced training is the same over here? Given that their recommendations include more hazard awareness training rather than a focus on 'technology'.
  9. :roll: another seagull post. Well done.
  10. Because ABS will make no difference to the majority of motorcycle crashes.

    But it will make a big difference to a smaller number of crashes, where rider fishtails, then goes down. Or rider locks front wheel, then goes down. It may even help chumps who lock the rear wheel under braking, then release the locked wheel, then highside.
  11. Do you realise you are one of the few globally who actually realises this?

    Yep, it will help avoid those scenarios. So ABS is really chump insurance then?

    The HURT report highlighted a high number of braking errors prior to fatality, primarily a rear wheel lock up (we're talking America and a preponderance of cruisers at the time, with the majority of cruiser riders over learning use of rear brake because it is more effective on a cruiser), but on the whole, it wasn't the braking error that resulted in the fatality. The riders goose was already cooked... which you've probably already realised given your statement above.

    Anyway, I'm sick of the sound of my own voice on this topic. When I get my next bike, it most likely will have ABS. If it's not switchable, an autoelec will get some money to make it switchable.
  12. I think it is valuable to have a study like this one to counteract the false sense of security that ABS could otherwise engender. Training, training, training, followed by practice, practice, practice.

    As I said in the other thread, my next bike will most likely have ABS. I don't expect it to save my life, I do want it to be switchable. On a track, I'd switch it off. But for those occasional over-enthusiastic moments on the brakes, it might - just might - make a difference. And if it ever comes to the point that my front wheel is locking up and ABS is the difference between me staying in control of the bike or going for a slide down the road, then I guess it will have proven itself worthwhile. And in that study there were two people who might still be alive today if they'd had ABS. Sure, that's only 2 out of 40-odd fatalities. But if you were one of the two... well I guess the odds would seem a bit more personal then.

    That being said, I've had ABS in my car for 8 years and never used it in anger. I've only felt it go off when I was deliberately braking hard in an advanced driving course.
  13. No, not anyone here, but that's not the point. You're probably not aware of this (being out there riding), but TAC in Victoria have made it VERY CLEAR that they are OPPOSED to training, and that ABS should indeed replace it.
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  14. Fairly said.

    Have a close read of those two cases though. They imply that there might have been some directional control under ABS - which is why they think ABS might have helped. If it was truly a steering input under heavy brakes scenario, then they are generally wrong. Ever tried to steer a bike with forward weight transfer related to -0.8g's or more decelleration? Not gonna happen on a standard front end bike.

    If the washouts lost the riders the opportunity to slow to a speed at which they might have attempted an evasive swerve, then it's possible ABS could have been the difference. This would mean that we're giving the riders credit for the mental wherewithall to plot that as their entire response plan in that life threatening situation. Possibly a big call.

    Victoria is currently in the midst of a case controlled crash study... interestingly, they might be fishing around for some cases though since by some reports motorcycle kilometres, crashes and fatalities are quite low this year... but I'm hoping that it will shed more light on the statistical significance of ABS in crash causation or protective factors. I think the Victorian bike fleet has something like 15% - 20% ABS penetration.... might be enough to start drawing some conclusions.
  15. well that DOES contain traces of nuts

    having said that, with this being a national forum, perhaps some disclaimer re local conditions might be in order on some posts on this (and other??) subjects?

    {I'm waiting for the tin-hat answer; 'Oh this will happen nationally, just you wait and see, we'll all be rooned.."} :LOL:
  16. Vicroads introduce mandatory seatbelts... that was local... guess where that went? :-k (Hint -> Global)

    Victoria introduced RBT and drug testing... guess how that's gone nationally? :-k

    Victoria introduced speed cameras and mandatory road penalties too... guess how that's gone nationally? :-k

    Victoria has a history of leading the way... which most normal switched on Australians have cottoned on to...
  17. Fair comment, up to a point - most states don't have a TAC-style bag of nuts to contend with.
  18. My understanding is that that was the position of TAC and VicRoads in the past. My understanding is that it was based on overseas studies of advanced driver training in cars which they assumed would apply equally to bikes.

    Titus, when you say that this is TACs position, do you know that it still is currently. I thought that there may have been some shift of ground on this based on a few vague things I have heard so jjust curious whether or not we know thier position hasn't changed
  19. Hazard perception training and road positioning training is the best way to improve safety. People who do this training probably self-select into a statistically safer group and tend to be older, have white helmets, smoke a pipe, wear slippers etc etc.

    Incidentally in the UK this training is almost free. There are single day courses run by the police (who teach filtering!) and by other volunteer groups.
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  20. We don't have TAC.
    Just plain bean counting bureaucracy.
    Training is not cheap. We trainers get fark all of it. Public liability is massive.
    I busted my nuts for ten years on road safety.
    Honestly...now I don't give a fark.
    I guess from my knowledge I have sympathy for all sides.
    Training is great. It does help. For mine I think it is vital.
    On a motorcycle or in a car, learning something once is ok.
    Riding/driving is mental and muscle.
    It takes constant practice to keep these two dancing in step.
    It also takes constant practice to keep these dancing while you have adrenalin flowing.
    It also takes a lot of practice for these to become a reaction. Not a thought process.
    And now the bills for all this is huge.
    As I said I have spent times with all sides on this.
    For mine the accident forensic groups have the most educated opinion on it.
    And believe me you wouldn't like their majority opinion.
    They want mandatory ABS, TC, DSC.
    And 80% of the cars today taken off the road.
    Yup their main thought is that we are idiots. And totally lack the self control to handle the modern family sedan. Let alone half the cheap cars these days that can get close to the 5 second 0 - 100
    I guess since most have to spend their life in therapy because of their job. I can see their point.
    And if you have ever had the displeasure of looking at ones pic's.............we are idiots.

    Just to add. lol. A std Falcon has 200kw. A short time ago a GT didn't get near that. And they are a prick of a car to handle in a bad situation. And the TC can do way more harm than good on a wet off camber corner. Don't get me started on big 4wd's