ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Exposure study by motorcycle make and type

Christie, Ron (Peer reviewed)

Motorcycles and Scooters


This study, funded by the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW (MAA), aimed to determine the annual distance travelled by registered motorcycles in NSW by make and type. This information was then related to patterns of crash involvement and crash risk for NSW motorcycles. The exposure survey was conducted in two parts with an initial mail-out to a random sample of 6,000 owners of NSW registered motorcycles to collect baseline survey data and odometer readings followed by a further mailing 6 months later to collect a final odometer reading and further information on usage patterns.  The NSW Roads & Traffic Authority (RTA) assisted in drawing the initial sample of current motorcycle owners. A blind technique was used to protect the privacy of those in the sample and only mass, anonymous data were used in the analysis and preparation of this paper. 

The paper summarises the analysis of exposure/usage data from the second, follow-up survey. Distance travelled estimates are compared with those from recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) vehicle usage surveys. Usage patterns by variables such as type and make of motorcycle, age of rider, experience of rider and area of residence are also reported. Self-reported crash involvement patterns are also reported and analysed. Overall, the preliminary pattern of results reported is not inconsistent with that reported in the Australian and international literature. However, it is of note that the estimated annual distance travelled for motorcycles in the sample was substantially higher than that of the last (2001) ABS estimate. This implies that the exposure to risk of motorcycles may be higher than previously thought. While this moderates the over-involvement of motorcycles relative to passenger cars per distance travelled, the relative risk is still very high.