Survey of motorcyclists aged over 30
The number of motorcyclists killed in Australia and in Victoria has increased in recent years. This trend appears to reflect an increase in riding and crashes involving older motorcyclists. While the number of motorcyclists aged 30 and under involved in casualty crashes in Victoria almost halved from 1991 to 2000, the number and percentage of motorcyclists aged over 30 more than doubled. A survey was undertaken to develop a better understanding of the patterns of riding and risk factors associated with older motorcyclists.
Of particular interest was comparing the size and characteristics of three groups 1) riders who have held licences and ridden for many years (continuing riders), 2) riders who have held licences for many years but have only returned to riding recently (returned riders), and 3) riders who have only obtained a licence recently (new riders). A questionnaire was mailed to 4,000 holders of motorcycle licences aged over 30 years. Almost half of the motorcycle licence holders who responded had not ridden in the previous 12 months. Among those who had ridden, 43% were ?continuing riders?, 27% were ?returned riders? and 31% were ?new riders?. Returned riders were less likely than new riders to have undertaken a training course and were more likely to ride for recreation than continuing riders. They were also more likely to have never commuted, have stopped commuting, have started touring and have never ridden for general transport. New riders rode more than returned riders and were more likely to ride in urban areas than other riders. Continuing riders were more likely to ride all year round and less likely to nominate a car as their main means of transport. They were more likely than returned riders to have continued commuting and riding on a farm and to have continued touring and riding for general transport. The probability of involvement in a crash per rider per year is likely to be highest for continuing riders and new riders. The robability of involvement in a crash per rider per kilometre travelled is likely to be highest for new and returned riders. As for any road user group, the crash involvement of motorcycle licence holders over the age of 30 may be reduced by measures that reduce total distance travelled and by measures that reduce the risk per unit of travel, including general road safety measures. Possible specific measures include a system of ?reactivation? of motorcycle licences and refresher courses for returning riders.