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News: Qld Uni study says riders push safety limits

Discussion in 'Motorcycling News' started by fitzy, May 16, 2006.

  1. Motorcyclists push safety limits - study

    taken from the queensland university of technology website:


    Motorcyclists push safety limits - study

    Motorcycle riders feel a pressure to "push their limits" in a way most car drivers don't, a Queensland University of Technology road safety study has found.

    Health masters researcher Deborah Tunnicliff said while some motorcyclists pushed their limits in a safe, considered, manner, unsafe behaviour sometimes resulted from perceived social pressure to ride well, combined with a propensity to thrill seek.

    Ms Tunnicliff said motorcycle riders reported being able to ride skilfully was essential to being safe, but often suggested they would push themselves to the limits of their ability in an attempt to improve their skill.

    The researcher surveyed more than 270 motorcycle riders about their perceptions of safety, in order to make sense of why bike riders still die at "horrific" rates while the general road toll declines.

    "People have an image of motorcyclists as being quite irresponsible but most riders take safety very seriously," she said. "A very large proportion of motorcycle crashes result from errors made by car drivers and this fact is too often ignored."

    Ms Tunnicliff said she found the concept of being safe a very broad one as almost every rider thought they were safe.

    "What they really seem to mean is that they 'weigh up the risks' before engaging in potentially risky behaviours," she said. She said riders could engage in behaviour that might be considered risky, while being the safer option at a particular time.

    "For example, although lane splitting can be a dangerous practice, there are some instances where a motorcyclist may consider this the safest thing to do," she said.
    "If you are wearing helmet, leathers and gloves in the summer heat in a traffic jam, falling off your bike from dehydration and heatstroke may be a greater risk than riding slowly between the stopped cars or on the shoulder."

    Ms Tunnicliff said all study participants agreed three things were essential to being safe on the road: being a skilful handler of the machine, retaining a high degree of concentration, and staying within your limits.

    The researcher said she was concerned many motorcyclists did not consider fatigue as an impairment, especially as the physiological response to riding a motorcycle could mask symptoms of fatigue.

    She said her research was now being further developed in order to make recommendations for rider training.

    "If you go to rider training and you get greater riding confidence, this can result in a greater intention to push the limits," she said. "We need new riders to be confident but not overly confident... rider training will need to look at that."

    Ms Tunnicliff undertook her research at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland at QUT, and is now working for the CRC for Railway Engineering and Technology based at Central Queensland University.

    Media contacts: Deborah Tunnicliff - (07) 5438 7562 or 0404 965 404.
    Carmen Myler/Toni Chambers - (07) 3864 1150.
  2. Sounds like a pretty spot on report - perhaps the MRAA could circulate it to a wider audience.

    Some good points about the social aspects of 'pushing limits' too.
  3. I also think the pushing the limits thing is a part of the culture, as well as a part of the inherent human socio-response for many (not all) individuals. Get out to some winding roads with a group of riders, and not everyone's skills are equal. Different individuals have different skill levels, or alternately, "weigh up" levels of risk differently. One person's idea of riding at 70%, can often be an inexperienced person's equivalent of riding at 120%, and crashing as a result if they try to keep up. Quite often people will see what someone can do with ease, and wonder why they aren't doing that too, and push themselves beyond their limits, not understanding that it's not the bike that makes the rider fast, but rather the rider that makes the bike fast.

    I think perhaps the single most important aspect to drum into individuals minds, and it's one that I certainly try to keep in mind, is never ride faster on the road than you can stop in, given your present level of vision. How often do single rider accidents occur because the rider was not so much riding beyond their capabilities, but rather was riding beyond the prevailing level of vision and encountered some road obstacle (gravel, oil, decreasing radius, car turning in front of them, etc), that left the rider with no way to maneuver in time?
  4. Yeah it's about time soemthing good came out of QUT...

    (I'm only saying that because I work at Giffith and my partner is studying at QUT at the moment).
  5. Re: Motorcyclists push safety limits - study

    personally i like this little part of the study. Seemed pretty straight forawrd to me, why more motorcyclist die then cage drivers, think it's got a little bit to do with the protection a cage provides..... but yeah i can see how it requires a lab coat to come to that conclusion :roll:

    Apart from that comment a pretty good report :)
  6. Yep and it will continue to happen. Cages are getting safer, no doubt. Bikes have no inbuilt rider protection. It's really pretty obvious isn't it? Society in general are having more accidents every year yet death rates are the same or lower than previous years, it's just that the cars are getting safer. The pollies will probably try to tell everyone it's because of "saftey cameras" :shock:

    It appears to me that a lot of single vehicle bike accidents are a result of overconfidence, inexperiance and simpily not riding to the conditions. Overcooking a corner and wiping out, too fast to stop in time, not enough vision etc.

    I feel that everyone riding a bike has a touch of "racer" in them. Everyone who gives a quick blat on the throttle etc is guilty of it. I know I am. It's just the ones where the "racer" takes over at an inappropriate moment and gets them killed. The study makes some good points IMO.

    Ride safe :cool:
  7. i would like to see that myself
    the amount of drivers who dont look out for riders are just scary :shock:
  8. Very true - I also think modern car designs are a little too good at insulating the driver from the world around them (people forget they're in a vehicle and start to think it's their lounge room). Saw one study where they tested the affect of eating/drinking whilst driving on a simulator - one woman tested was completely unaware of the fact that during the test she'd hit two motorcyclists and one pedestrian :shock:.
  9. Quite a good report, I think...and seems to make an effort to understand the difference between being an idiot and taking a measured risk.

    Even getting on a bike is a measured risk, compared to say a car.

    The interesting thing, is the understanding that Riders will push their limits in an effort to improve their skill, while drivers don't - That is...don't try to improve their skills. (coff)

    I can't imagine drivers tear-arsing around in their cars.. :LOL: (Although, I always did)
  10. Motorcycle riders feel a pressure to "push their limits" in a way most car drivers don't, a Queensland University of Technology road safety study has found.

    ... more

    This is an automated posting of a new news item added to Netrider News by Netrider.
  11. :shock: :evil: That and things like putting on make up, doing hair, talking on mobiles and countless other stupid and inappropriate distractions while driving cars are ever increasing :evil:

    There's not a single day that I don't see atleast one of the above... people just have very little care for others on the road when they're in their cage :evil:

    Just my 2cents and rant for the day :p
  12. Now that everyone has constructivally broken down and added there comments of what is pretty obvious and we are ready know .
    heres my years of experianced input into the topic .

    couldnt you have some fun with that name :grin: :grin:
  13. Looking at the comments on the news item, it looks more like she (or more probably someone pretending to be her) has had some fun with Jaqhama :LOL: