ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY – AN OXYMORON.

Lambert, J

Motorcycles and Scooters

2002

Road trauma levels have stabilised in Australia and in Victoria may be increasing. About 15% of fatalities, 10% of serious injuries and 7% of minor injuries relate to motorcycle travel though these vehicles account for only about 0.6% of vehicle occupant travel. Principle reasons for this high level and motorcycle deaths and hospitalisation are: • Motorcycle riders and pillions are unprotected road users • Motorcycles are capable of very high acceleration rates compared to cars and very high speeds, but such acceleration and speed can only be safely undertaken in straight line travel • Motorcycles are inherently unstable • Humans can only survive direct impact with cars or fixed objects up to impact speeds of around 80 – 90 km/h • There are significantly higher levels of “illegal’ activity associated with motorcycle travel; • Motorcycle riders have a belief set that allows them to rationalise away the risks of motorcycle travel, and • Motorcyclists and others incorrectly believe that drivers should see them, and that if the drivers don't see them the crash is the drivers fault.