Older riders may be showing up more in motorcycle road crash statistics, but that’s because there are more of them.
Now a road crash study is seeking out the views of young riders aged 18-30 to help them complete a study into motorcycle road crashes.
The Motorcycle In-Depth Crash Study has been researching motorcycle road crashes within a three-hour radius of Sydney since 2012 to find out why the crash happened and to develop countermeasures to prevent more crashes.
Researchers from the Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, have already conducted in-depth interviews with the riders in 98 serious motorcycle crashes.
Senior research project officer Dr Liz De Rome, herself a rider since 1969, says they have not only interviewed riders, but also inspected crash scenes, inspected the crashed bike and looked at the clothing the riders were wearing.
However, under international methodology for the investigation of motorcycle crashes, they also need to interview about 300 riders who have ridden the same route but not crashed. “We particularly need younger riders. We get a lot of older riders, but they statistically don’t crash much,” she says.
Dr De Rome says there have been similar studies in Europe and a few in Australia, but not for some years and there is an ongoing need for new data because circumstances change. “In the last 10 years there has been a doubling of the number of riders. At one stage it was increasing 16% a year. Most of the riders seem to be from the first boom of motorcyclists back in the ‘70s when I learned to ride. There is a perception that older riders are crashing more but they actually have a low risk rate, it’s just that there are more of them on the road.” She says they are therefore seeking riders aged 18-30 to participate in the on-line survey.
Dr De Rome says they can’t report on any study trends yet. “There is an enormous amount of data and we won’t do an analysis until it’s all in or the result would be skewed,” she says.
The survey takes about 40 minutes to complete because they have to ask riders all the same questions they asked the crashed rider, but it does not have to be completed in one session. The survey can be completed over several sessions.
The project is funded by AustRoads (Association of Australian and New Zealand Road Authorities) and Transport for NSW, and has been approved by The University of New South Wales Human Research Ethics Advisory Committee.
To register to take part in this study, visit their website at https://www.neura.edu.au/motorcycle. Riders have to be licensed and own a currently registered bike or scooter and have ridden in the area within three hours of Sydney. To check out the crash sites click here.
The survey is anonymous and will not include personally identifying information. All data will be securely stored in electronic form and paper records destroyed. The electronic data will be erased seven years after the completion of the study. Riders will not be contacted again.