Introduction: This Ideas and Opinions section of the SMARTER website has been created to provide a web location for expressing ideas and opinions on important motorcyclist safety issues.   We invite readers to contact us via e-mail message to to suggest subjects or to submit articles for consideration for posting in this section.  Nothing posted in this section should be construed as the position of SMARTER, its officers or members.

While SMARTER believes motorcyclist safety decisions should be based on available research, we also believe it is important to explore new ideas. The articles and documents posted in this section may or may not be supported by available research.

We hope the ideas, comments and opinions expressed here will stimulate discussion and maybe provide a basis for establishing future directions in motorcyclist safety.  We invite readers to post comments about what they read here on the SMARTER Facebook page and other active forums.

A number of factors are regularly associated with fatal motorcyclists’ crashes.  Ride-along Factors addresses five of these and answers two questions for each factor: (1) Does the identified ride-along factor contribute to causing the crash, contribute to the fatality, both or neither? (2) Is the ride-along factor related to the fatal crash as a cause or is the relationship correlational in nature? The answers are then discussed as related to possible countermeasures.

It is well known that a correlation exists between fatal motorcyclist crashes and improperly licensed operators.. These efforts are based on the assumption there is a cause-and-effect relationship between these two variables (license status and crash risk). The authors of Increasing the % of Properly Licensed Motorcyclist Won’t Reduce Fatal Crash Rates do not think the known relationship in these variables is causal and therefore do not think such efforts will reduce fatal crash rates.

Here are two articles which discuss the idea that traditional motorist awareness campaigns are ineffective. Motorist Awareness for Motorcyclist Safety Lacks Evidence of Effectiveness and Motorist Awareness – A Failing Strategy – a U.K. Expert’s Perspective.

This article provides three tips for Improved Awareness Messages and includes a few examples.

Recruiting and Retaining Quality RiderCoaches

Dispelling Myths and Clichés In this article Vic “Doc” Moss shares his opinion, backed up by data and facts, as to why riders need to let go of three often repeated “myths” and three “clichés.”

Basic Training Fails Part I (Part 1), author Jon DelVecchio.  This article highlights four primary variations between basic/waiver courses and more advanced rider courses. Jon suggests the “absolute” of a technique often taught in basic courses hinders riders development of more effective/correct advanced skill. Basic Training Fails Part 2 identifies four additional aspects of basic training that Jon suggests may be short changing riders in the long run.

Regarding Rider Responsibility.  This three page article examines what it means to be a responsible rider, introduces the concept of a rider responsibility continuum and suggests a simple method to self-assess rider responsibility.

Root Causes of Motorcyclist CrashesThis article reviews the causes of crashes identified by the Hurt Study and MAIDS.  The author suggests the primarily physical causes identified by Hurt and used in the U.S. leads to ineffective countermeasures.   Identifying crash causes more in line with MAIDS would lead to different solutions and maybe more effective solutions.

To lane-split or not to lane-split: Can the UC Berkeley Study help me decide?   The big question riders want to know about lane-splitting is: “Is lane-splitting as safe as or safer than traveling in the traffic lane?” This article examines the study titled Motorcycle Lane-splitting and Safety in California to determine if this research is helpful to riders in answering this question as some writers and motorcycle associations have claimed.

Pelvic Injury and Motorcycle Fuel Tank Design – June 2018. Pelvic Injury and Motorcycle Fuel Tank Design is an opinion article invite readers to read the research related to this subject and consider what motorcyclist safety advocates can and should do to address this issue.

Motorcycle Crash Design  Revisited Jon DelVecchio, Street Skills, LLC, revisits a subject he first addressed in 2016 – the injury risk from our own motorcycles in forward crashes.  Jon suggest now is the time to examine ways to make motorcycles safer in a crash and that the motorcycle manufacturers should get ahead of government intervention and control their own destiny by designing motorcycles that are more crash worthy.

It is Time to Focus on Mental Qualities : Rider Training Needs to Change.   This is an article written by  Joe Elliott,  National Motorcycle Institute (NMI) submitted for publication in the 2017 Fall Edition of the State Motorcycle Safety Administrators Association  Spotlight Newsletter.  The article presents an argument for a change in the focus of rider training from the physical skills of braking, cornering and swerving to improving mental qualities that develop respect and judgment.

Freedom isn’t Free .  This is an interesting perspective shared by Nicholas Worrell, Chief of the NTSB’s Office of Communications’ Safety Advocacy Division, in a July 1, 2015 blog post.

Looking Twice is not Enough. “Watch for Motorcycles, Look Twice, Save a Life.”  This is the traditional reminder we provide to car drivers during the month of May.  “Look twice, save a life” is an easy to remember rhyming phrase which it tells us the end goal – save a life – however, to make that a reality car drivers need to know more and do more.  This brief article describes the “how” of a search system designed to address the problems the research indicates are components of Looked But Failed to See crashes.

What Makes a Good Rider?   The answer, like the question, is very subjective. Former United Kingdom Special Forces Army Commando shares his thoughts.

The Risk of Motorcycling.  Former United Kingdom Special Forces Army Commando applies his Special Forces insights about managing risk to riding a motorcycle.

Ideas and Opinions by Dr. Don Green, Rider Choices  Dr. Green is regularly posting insightful and thought provoking articles on his Rider Choices website.  This link will provide readers with a biography for Dr. Green, a link to Rider Choices and direct links to several articles that should be of special interest to SMARTER website visitors.