More motorcycles would mean fewer accidents

We know car drivers who run into motorcycles often claim they didn’t see them. It’s called SMIDSY, or “sorry mate, I didn’t see you”.

Now research has found that the reason for SMIDSY could be because motorcycles are less common on the roads than other vehicles. Australian National University in Canberra has conducted research with 40 adults using simulators and found that participants who were shown more motorcycles in a simulation saw them sooner than those shown a small number of bikes. The fact that motorcycles are less common than cars might make it harder for car drivers to see motorcycles, said researcher Vanessa Beanland.

Participants who saw motorcycles more often were able to detect them an average of 50m farther away than those who saw motorcycles less often. At 60km/h drivers would have an extra three seconds to respond. So the solution to SMIDSY crashes is to have more motorcycles on the road, not fewer.

  1. I have spent the last 12 months riding around North America (Canada and the US), I feel much safer in the US than I do in Australia (or Canada for that matter) cars seem to see you much better in most places. I have previously thought it had to with greater number of bikes on the road. Nice to see some research that helps confirm this.

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