A world-first online motorcycle-specific hazard perception test has identified a scenario where a SMIDSY crash was partially the rider’s fault.
The Western Australian Department of Transport (DoT) adopted the computer video tests developed by Austroads last year as part of the assessment process for obtaining a motorcycle licence. In that time, almost 2000 riders have completed the test.
It shows three scenarios:
- Riding down a suburban street at night with a vehicle coming from a side street on the left;
- Approaching gravel on a country road; and
- Making a right turn at traffic lights.
The participant is supposed to hit a button at an appropriate time to: slow down as you approach the vehicle coming from the side street; slow down before hitting the gravel; and turn right after all vehicles, including a motorcycle, have cleared the intersection.
While riders may think all SMIDSY (Sorry Mate, I Didn’t See You) crashes are the other motorist’s fault, the first scenario identifies that the rider shares the blame.
The driver could easily come out of the side street as they could not see the rider who is masked by a car that is turning into that street. The driver is legally at fault, but the blame is shared by the rider for not foreseeing the situation.
The rider should have slowed when the masking vehicle put on its left turn indicator. They could also have flashed their lights, blown the horn or changed lane position to be seen and/or heard.
It’s a typical SMIDSY situation where the rider should have anticipated that the driver couldn’t see them.
You can be legally in the right, but still dead!
The last scenario is also a possible SMIDSY where the rider could turn after an approaching car turns in front of them only to run into an approaching rider that was hidden.
WA has also adopted four online tests for car drivers, but only one includes motorcycles as potential hazards.
It is a shame the motorcycle SMIDSY scenarios are not included in the driver tests.