Risk taking by motorcyclists - rider training and stages of change
Motorcyclists in Australia have been found to be 30 times more likely to be killed per kilometre travelled than car occupants and 40 times more likely to be seriously injured. One approach to preventing motorcycle-related injury is through training and education. While there is traditionally a major focus on developing riding skills during training for motorcyclists, there is also a need for training to promote safe riding to reduce subsequent risk taking. The Transtheoretical Model, commonly known as the „Stages of Change‟ model, provides a rationale to support incremental behaviour change for risky riding that may be facilitated through motorcycle rider training and education. A sample of 438 learner motorcyclists attended a rider training program in Queensland, Australia, with the stages of change to adopt a safe riding mindset and safe riding practices being measured upon commencement of the course (Time 1) and then again upon completion (Time 2). A small subset of the original sample (n=45) responded at follow up 24 months post training (Time 3). Consistent with the aims of training, results showed a significant shift from the contemplation stage to the subsequent stages of change for participants between Time 1 and Time 2. Progression to the later stages in the model was found for the subset of participants that responded at the Time 3 follow up. Issues of questionnaire design and the utility of the Transtheoretical Model for motorcycle rider training are discussed.