ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Analysis of trends over time for motorcycle crashes in South Australia

Weissenfeld, A, Baldock, M, Hutchinson, Paul (Peer reviewed)



An appreciable number of people choose to ride motorcycles for pleasure and for commuting. Furthermore, motorcycles have great environmental advantages over cars. However, there are also serious safety concerns. Aims. The aims of this study are to provide a general descriptive account of motorcycle crashes in South Australia, with special reference to the role of failures of attention and the comparison of different categories of motorcyclists. Databases. Police-reported crash data (Traffic Accident Reporting System, TARS) allowed a general exploratory account of motorcycle crashes, while an in-depth at-scene database permitted examination of the different attentional errors. Results. Crash site and circumstances are tabulated with particular reference to (a) different ages of motorcyclist, (b) the metro vs. country distinction, (c) motivation and purpose of the ride, and (d) injury severity. Inattention is identified by SA Police as a contributory cause of motorcycle crashes in approximately 80 percent of cases: the meaning and validity of this is explored using both evidence internal to TARS and evidence from the in-depth database. This permits the identification of certain types of attentional failures and a determination of the extent to which road type and features, environmental, and motorcyclist factors may impact on the likelihood of attentional failures.