Motorcyclist fatality and motorcycle sales patterns in Australia
Research has shown the casualty crash risk of motorcycle riders in countries such as Australia, Canada, USA and the United Kingdom to be up to 17-20 times that of car occupants. Riders aged less than 25 years are overrepresented in both fatal and injury crashes. It is of interest that, following a marked decline, the sale of new road motorcycles has increased steadily in Australia since about 1991 (eg sales of road registerable motor cycle in 2000 were more than 80% higher than in 1995). This apparent resurgence in on-road motorcycle numbers may have contributed to a corresponding increase in fatality for riders. This paper examines the relationship between Australian motorcycle rider fatality data and motorcycle sales patterns since 1990 and, where possible, looks for any changes in crash risk or involvement patterns. Results show reductions in exposure and fatality for riders aged less than 25 years over the last 10 years, but steady to rising patterns of exposure and fatality for older riders. Sales patterns also suggest that older riders are purchasing large, powerful motorcycles.