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Motorcycle Conspicuity and crash causation research... from 1978... from... VICTORIA!

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' started by robsalvv, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. Came across this report about motorcycle crash causation and the role of conspicuity... from circa 1978. It's based on 1974 VicPol data!

    1974! And it references other studies that go back into the 60's. So roadsafety has been talking about this topic for almost 50 years.

    http://www.svmc.se/upload/Se Oss/australien_1979.pdf

    Some take home messages for me, particulary in the context of the Victorian TAC funded focus and attack on rider casualty rates, is that in 1974 there were some 1500 casualty crashes resulting in almost 80 deaths. Back in in 1974 there must have been about a quarter of the number of motorbikes on the roads! In comparison to today, Victoria has a five year average of about 44MC deaths and 900andsomething serious injuries a year.

    Almost 80% of casualty crashes involved another vehicle, half were the fault of the other vehicle. NOT A WHOLE LOT HAS CHANGED!!

    The key table is this one:

    1978 Hi Viz report.PNG

    Of the two vehicle crashes, 17% of crashes were the result of the driver's own vehicle obscuring the bike! With today's massive A and B pillars, that would have to be higher.

    A surprising 11% was the motorcycle hitting a stationary car (parked car?).

    21%, drivers simply didn't see the motorcycle for "no apparent reason".

    The report does not make any recommendations about how to improve conspicuity.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Stationary vehicles may also include rear ending another vehicle as well.

    This being pre-TAC the number of single vehicle crashes may be under-reported as well.
  3. yes, that was my take too. Cars stop, bike not able to and hits the back of the car. Brakes would not have been very good back then either.
  4. Thats true, In 1977 I was riding a CB350 as a commuter, only had drum brakes front and rear. Mind you car brakes were not that good either, so I suppose its all relative.
  5. Certainly possible in some situations, but brakes on cars were even worse, so the instance of cars 'outbraking' bikes doesn't seem likely to be higher.

    More likely inattention, many more riders were pissed and stoned in those days. And yes, speeding.
  6. I resemble that remark. :)
    • Like Like x 1
  7. I also noted the number where the RIDER failed to give way. I wonder how that compares to today?

    Are riders these days generally more cautious than they may have been back then?

    ETA: Also note that they've disregarded pretty much any stats concerning rearward vision of the motorist. As tho a driver shouldn't have to look behind him before he does a u turn???
    ETA again: ...and then go on in the conclusion to say that rearward inconspicuity was not significant? Maybe it wasn't, but they disregarded it in the initial stats. I don't follow that... but then I'm no statistition (sp) either.
  8. Of all multiple vehicle accidents:
    35% cupcakes - driver's view was obscured by something.
    21% garden variety SMIDSY.
    56% of accidents are related to conspicuity.

    Of those, 62.5% were caused by the driver being unable to see the bike because his vision was obscured, yet the driver still pulled out or whatever. So ~2/3 of the conspicuity problem was with drivers alone.

    For the remaining third no cause was identified. If we assume blame is equally distributed, then that means cagers caused 5/6 of all conspicuity related crashes, 81%.

    Jeebus H Cripes. No wonder they want to blame motorcyclists for this, it would be politically distasteful to confront cagers with this level of guilt.
  9. You also need to remember back then there were very few Give Way and Stop signs. Even on what we now consider major through roads, the rule was give way to the right. There were many accidents caused by failure to give way.
  10. Possibly, I can't remember... :)
  11. Not sure really. Pillars are getting pretty big, but in 1974 there was still an awful lot of 50s stuff around which had equally massive pillars and tiny windows, to contrast with the greenhouses of the late 60s. A fair few coupes on the market with huuuuge rear quarter blind spots too. I'd say average visibility won't have changed much.

    Rear enders (SLS drums, early discs etc), lack of training and a fairly relaxed attitude to drink riding would easily account for this.

    Some things never change :D.

    Interesting. But then, hi-vis clothing materials were in their relative infancy back then, and most bike electrical systems were simply incapable of keeping a headlamp lit 100% of the time. No point looking at conspicuity aids when they simply don't exist. It may be significant that it was some time in the 1970s that the Japanese started fitting side reflectors all over their bikes, at least for the US market.
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  12. Slightly OT but it has puzzled me that authorities have gone down the personal conspicuity (ie clothing) path rather than vehicle conspicuity.

    Gotta be easier to mandate something into ADRs than create and enforce a unique standard for clothing. I doubt riders would like defacing their bikes any more than wearing day-glo, but if it were a choice...?
  13. Need to remember that the Australian philosophy on vehicle regs is non-retrospective. That is, if a vehicle complied with requirements when new, it will continue to be legal without modification. It's one of the factors that has, so far, saved us from FNPs. So introducing an ADR requirement will only slowly change the vehicle fleet and can only be done after a lengthy period of consultation and review. In conspicuity, there is also a record of failure, with the withdrawal of the hard wired headlamp ADR.

    OTOH introducing a rider requirement would have an instant effect. Changes to Road Rules can be implemented worryingly quickly and I can't think of a single case where more stringent Road Rules changes have ever been wound back. As for the non-existence of standards, as one who has been a law maker, I can assure you that that is not a significant obstacle to the legislators even if it were the case. For personal conspicuity, as has been covered recently in another thread, there are industrial standards which could, as far as the authorities are concerned, be adopted immediately.

    In short, ADR changes are slow and difficult. Road Rules changes are (relatively) quick and easy.
  14. Meaning "no apparent reason", other than the limitations of human performance?

    The following will seem obvious to most riders, but please, take some time to read and watch these two points;

    You Have Inattention Blindness

    Someone who can't even see a purple flying monkey dancing right in front of them, will NOT SEE YOU dressed in any kind of hi-vis wear!

    You Can't Actually Multi-Task

    That f*ckwit on their phone, or otherwise preoccupied, will NOT SEE YOU.

    The psychological limitations of human performance WILL NOT CHANGE (without active mitigation).

    Adopting difficult to enforce legislation that will have absolutely no impact other than to penalise a minority group of vulnerable road users, it WILL NOT CHANGE or compensate for the aforementioned human limitations...

    Probably a more realistic interim measure, would be enforcing "Human Performance and Limitations" theory and exams into driver education and licensing (much like they do for pilots during flight training).

    For good measure let's drum that into people's heads by having to regularly re-license coinciding with regular road-worthiness inspections (wait on, Victoria doesn't even mandate those!)... so let's just continually put the onus on the more vulnerable minority!

    Or we could just stop wasting time and just start enforcing autonomous (self-driving) multi-tracked vehicles, which would be much more effective in alleviating almost *ALL* of these incidents, and if people still want manual control of their vehicle... tell them to jump on a motorcycle! Only kidding (but not really!)
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  15. And there is no discernable difference in crash rates due to mechanical problems between those jurisdictions tht have annual roadworthies and those that don't.
  16. Just to clarify, I wasn't suggesting this would improve safety, merely a "convenient" interval for re-licensing.

    Although it's probably been deemed too impractical (VicRoads are busy enough!), otherwise some beige wearing politicians would've implemented it already.
  17. Erm, ADRs are a piece of the proverbial to enforce because they're applied at a manufacturer/importer level. Vehicle does not comply = vehicle does not get sold for road use in Australia. Very simple as far as the authorities are concerned.

    However, I wasn't actually referring to the efficacy or otherwise of mandating hard wired headlamps (which I don't like, BTW). My use of the word "failure" referred to the fact that, after the process of introducing the relevant ADR (which I know from experience involves a shitload of time and effort on the part of federal and state public servants, industry representatives, uncle Tom Cobbley and all), it got dropped following an excellent political campaign which would have involved at least some of the folk here today (TonyE, I'm guessing you were heavily involved for one). A lot of people had a lot of wasted effort to their credit and a fair bit of egg on their faces. It's made them much more circumspect about introducing unpopular ADRs. But the old order changeth. That little debacle was, what?, 15 years ago, and many of the protagonists on the legislative side are now retiring so the corporate memory of the embarrassment is rapidly being lost.

    I don't know about Victoria, but here in WA, the only people who want universal annual inspections are the Motor Trades Association. ie The folk who will make money out of it. No-one else, not the cops, not the pollies, not the technical bods and engineers at the Dept of Transport and definitely not the public, want a bar of it.
  18. .....
  19. Yep, yep, yep. Hard to get safety crats and safety authorities to accept this. We live it every day on two wheels. I coach riders to be aware of these limitations in drivers and factor it into their riding, for their improved safety.