Research Results - Older Motorcycle Rider Safety in Queensland
Previous research has documented an increase in the number of motorcycle registrations and crashes in Australia (including Queensland) in the last decade and an increasing trend of older rider involvement in crashes. The current research was commissioned by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads to better understand these trends and to inform policy designed to improve older rider safety. The research drew on licensing, registration, offence and crash data for all riders in Queensland over two five year periods (the financial years 1993 “1998 and 2003 “2008); and included two surveys (n = 1,592 and 1,821 respectively) targeting active riders. Crash data analysis revealed that while the number of older riders in crashes has increased, the number of active riders has also increased, meaning that the crash rate for older riders has decreased. It was also found that older riders ride more, but crash less and commit fewer traffic offences than younger riders. Analysis of survey responses revealed differences in attitudes towards motorcycle safety between younger and older riders, and the use of protective clothing and equipment. Older riders were less likely to be influenced by others during group rides than younger riders, and reported noticing the effect ageing was having on their riding. Participants also acknowledged the challenges of returning to riding and the changing traffic environment. The results of the crash, offence and survey analyses are discussed in terms of their implications for future research and motorcycle safety policy development.