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[QLD] Older Motorbike Rider Safety: Report

Discussion in 'Research, Studies, and Data' at netrider.net.au started by John_M, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Back in June 2010, ARTD Consultants began surveying riders to conduct research for Qld Transport & Main Roads. They surveyed riders of all age groups; however their research brief was to focus on riders 45 years and over, their behaviour, attitudes, crash stats and comparative analysis against other age groups.

    There were approx 1600 "random sample" respondents selected from "active riders" who be definition, had both a Qld motorcycle licence AND a bike registered in their name in Qld (see numbers below in dot-points). The survey also included another 1800+ "open sample" respondents. Some of you here on this Forum will recall my request to participate in the open sampling response area.

    The interim findings were provided to members of the Qld Motorcycle Safety Advisor Group in late 2010 and early 2011, but only in April 2011 was the report finalised and I chased up a copy in August. I believe this report to be important and so I have included a selection of interesting points from it below:
    • "Active rider” defined by registrations and licence statistics. The number of “active riders” in Qld was 103,014. There has been a doubling (increase of 103%) between 93/98 and 03/08 from 50,714 active riders to 103,014.
    • The number of older riders in crashes has almost tripled from 660 to 1,897 during the interval 1993–1998 to 2003–2008. The number of older riders in fatal crashes has more than tripled from 20 to 64.
    • Partly as a product of the increase in older riders in crashes, and partly due to the decrease or relative stability in younger riders in crashes, the likelihood that a rider in any given crash is older rider has increased. Older riders made up 11% of all riders in crashes in 1998 but 24% in 2008. They also made up 10% of all riders in fatal crashes in 1993–1998, increasing to 24% in 2003–2008.
    • This does not mean older riders are crashing more often than younger riders. It simply demonstrates an increase in the number of older riders and a decrease in the level of over-representation of younger riders in crashes. Younger riders still crash much more often than older riders both per rider and per kilometre ridden.
    • Using Vehicle Kilometres Travelled, older riders (45 years and more) travelled 6 times as many kilometres per crash as younger riders (15 to 24 years). Riders aged 55 years or more travelled 10 times as many kilometres per crash as younger riders.
    • Age, environment and generational factors are all leading to lower crash rates for older riders and these rates are likely to continue to decline with this generation and the younger generation get older.
    • Older riders accounted for 44% of all active riders yet accounted for just 30% of all motorbike offenders and 24% of all offences).
    • There was little difference in the way that older and younger riders crashed, except that younger riders were much more likely to be speeding.
    • Conclusion on behaviour and crashes: Older riders are crashing less often than they used to and much less often than their younger counterparts. Crash rates are coming down for all riders, but with 4 times as many older riders on the road, this inevitably leads to more crashes (in absolute terms), albeit at a lower rate than previously experienced for riders in all age groups.
    • Trying to define a “returning rider” is difficult. There is no clear-cut theoretical basis for determining what constitutes a returning rider.
    • Issues raised spontaneously by older riders on how to improve road safety for motorcyclists in Qld:
      − Improve awareness / educate motorists about motorcycles;
      − Improve road conditions and maintenance, including the removal of wire-rope barriers;
      − More and better training for motorcycle riders;
      − Stricter requirements on obtaining a motorcycle licence; and
      − Changes to road rules, e.g. to allow lane filtering.​
    • A “cluster solution” identified 4 types of rider for analysing attitude variations:
      Cluster 1: “Absent minded” (16.9%): optimists, poor preparers, alcohol skeptics high risk takers, but average speeders.
      Cluster 2: “Poor Preparers” (17.1%): anti-alcohol, aware of the road, occasional or average risk takers.
      Cluster 3: “Speed Demons” or Speed Optimists (28.4%): pro speeding, preparers, alcohol skeptics, moderate risk takers.
      Cluster 4: “Golden boys” (and pretenders) (37.5%): preparers, low risk takers, anti-speeders, aware riders, anti-alcohol.​
    • Older riders tended to have better attitudes to speeding, pre-ride preparation, risk taking, cornering and other caution-related practices.
    Interestingly I have since found out that the crash rate for the 55+ group of riders is the same as for all light passenger vehicles. Of course light passenger vehicles have subgroups of older drivers that are sure to have lower crash rates than the average for all drivers.

    Anyway, some of the stats don't paint such a bad story as is often peddled by the media and some politicians and safetycrats, who like to demonise everything about motorcycling. Anyone interested in the full report should PM me with their email address.
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Thanks good info, will PM you for the full study. It is interesting to find out what causes the relative risk profiles of the groups as an individual I can mimic that behaviour if I want to increase safety.

    Do you have a source for this?
  3. Thank you for debunking the constant bleating here by young smart-alecks about the dangers posed by older riders.....
  4. Yup.

    Some of us might not get our knee down every weekend, but we've spent a few decades getting bloody good at not dying :D.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Do you happen to have the stats on the composition of older riders from 93/98 to 03/08 in the active rider groups? Based solely on your precis i see a rise of 11% to 24% in older rider representation not considering the % of older riders in active riders for each period.
  6. There you go, experience pays, no matter what!

    Funny thing is, us older blokes could probably deal with the consequences in regard to damaged gear, fines, etc. much easier. :)
  7. I try not to get my knee down at any time. Too hard getting up again, nowadays.
  8. Last time I got down on my knee it cost me a couple a mil. And she's the one from the wealthy family. Sheeez. Ah well, good thing my kids are priceless. :)

    I find now that I am officially a fossil, I don't slide and bounce up when I come off any more.
    I smear across the tarmac and stay laying flat, face down. And it takes months and months to heal. If you heal.
    That tends to make you a bit more cautious.
    But then add a mate, a track to ourselves..... all that goes strait out the window....till I am smeared, face down on the tarmac again lol
  9. Thanks for this info John.

    What are the total fatality numbers for each year in that 10 year period?

    Was there any kind of accounting for current experience? A rider might be 50yo and had a license for 30yrs, but if they took a long break and only returned at age 49, they've really only got recent experience.

    This hasn't really zero'd in on returning riders, or the crash rate of riders with X years experience. I think there's another level of drilling down required.

    If in 10 yrs there's been a doubling of the number of registered bikes, that suggests there's been a similar increase in the number of riders and a good proportion of those ~50,000 riders would be older riders. So the older group has had an influx of novices and recently experienced. If the study doesn't account for this, the conclusions will be far less valuable.

    On the point of kilometres travelled, was there any assessment for the rate or type of kilometres travelled? Do young riders travel more kilometres more often than older riders? Do they do more frequent shorter trips for example???

    I recently stumbled upon the QLD rider safety strategy and found it interesting that they have a section about returning riders quoting the absolute increase in the older rider category as the reason to develop such a strategy. This would seem to be at odds with the study. Thoughts?
  10. The figure for the light passenger vehicles was provided by a TMR staffer as part of a presentation to the members of the Qld Motorcycle Safety Advisory Group (I am the Ulysses rep). At some point I believe we will get copies of the slides.

    I' have emailed you the report as requested.
  11. I suggest you PM me your email address and you can review the report yourself. There are a few tables with lots of figures for different age bands and the stats are dissected in a couple of dimensions.

    Remember this is a survey of riders who responded to both a random sample and the open sample, by questionnaire to the consultants. the open sample will include interstaters, whereas the random sample was Qld "active riders".

    • In 1993-1998 there were 193 riders involved in 187 fatal crashes resulting in 196 fatalities. There were also 2,603 people hospitalised as a result of motorbike crashes across Qld.
      [*]In 2003-2008 this rose to 271 riders involved in 267 fatal crashes resulting in 274 fatalities and 4,241 people being hospitalised as a result of motorbike crashes across Qld.

    Table 3.3: Riders involved in crashes by age (all crashes and fatal crashes) 
    between 1993–1998 and 2003–2008.
    			% of all riders			% of all riders 
    			in crashes			in fatal crashes
    [U]		1993–1998	2003–2008	1993–1998	2003–2008[/U]
    15–24		35%		24%		36%		25%
    25–34		35%		28%		33%		29%
    35–44		18%		24%		21%		23%
    45–54		7%		17%		6%		16%
    55–64		3%		5%		2%		5%
    65 +		1%		2%		3%		3%
    [U]Total		100%		100%		100%		100%[/U]
    Under 45	89%		76%		90%		76%
    45 and over	11%		24%		10%		24%
    Does this table help?
  12. See my last post. Suggest you acquire a copy of the full report too, so you can do your own analysis of all the detail.
    Table 3.2: Changes in the number of riders in FATAL crashes 
    by age between 1993–1998 and 2003–2008
    		Riders in fatal crashes		Change 
    [U]Age		1993–1998	2003–2008	in number	% change[/U]
    15–24		69		67		-2		-3%
    25–34		63		79		16		25%
    35–44		41		61		20		49%
    45–54		11		44		33		300%
    55–64		3		13		10		333%
    65 +		6		7		1		17%
    [U]Total		193		271		78		40%[/U]
    Under 45	173		207		34		20%
    45 and over	20		64		44		220%
    Note in my summary the point that the researchers found it difficult to define the returning rider. Here is some of that section (5.4) of the report:
  13. The Qld Motorcycle Safety Strategy 2009-2012 has pretty well run its course. Much of the work set out in the actions has been achieved. We are currently engaged with Qld TMR to try to get a new strategy specifically for PTWs and for it to be a "Motorcycle Transport & Safety Strategy" (not simply 'safety'). TMR's preference is for a single Qld Road Safety Strategy covering all road users, with only sections and action plans devoted to motorcycling. This would be consistent with the National Road Safety Strategy, but not the preferred position of rider representatives. My very strong preference is to follow the Victorian lead of combining transport as an umbrella to safety.

    This is what the existing 2009-2012 Strategy says about "returning riders":
    I believe this section on returning riders was part of their early focus on the absolute numbers increasing for older riders and the general perception that the returning riders were a big issue. TMR commissioned the ARDT research to help better define the overall older rider issues. What I think they've found is that there are other more important issues to focus on than older riders generally. However there is sure to be a greater focus on post-licence training (all vehicles) and everyone is waiting to see what comes out of the work on a national best practice Graduated Licensing System (GLS).

    I suspect TMR will look at various strategies for encouraging dormant riders to surrender their licence (e.g. charges on licences, like a levy!). Then once surrendered, if a rider wants to return, they'll be forced to do a training course. Another suggestion has been to encourage advanced rider training. A new GLS could incorporate some of these new 'encouragement' elements.

    So there are some thoughts (not my position, just for the sake of discussion).
  14. Any time Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT) are used by anyone, they always put a big cautionary note on the rubberiness of the numbers. Actual kilometres travelled is not currently available from transport databases in any usable form, so generally I understand that researchers use very basic ABS numbers and self-reported figures.

    From the executive summary of the report:
    From section 2.2.4: Survey Analysis
    Section 3.6.2 then goes into comprehensive analysis of VKT:
    Enough for now. Good night :bolt: