This section provides overview guides that describe, analyze and evaluate strategies and countermeasures relevant to motorcyclist safety. What works and what does not? What are the costs and implementation times for various countermeasures? What research is available related to the various countermeasures. A helpful feature of most of these countermeasure overviews is the inclusion of a rating system. Sadly, it is clear from the summaries of the research reported in the documents listed below that virtually none of the countermeasures that are implemented to reduce the number motorcyclist crashes, fatalities and injuries have been proven effective by research.
Overviews Research Studies
This newsletter contains summaries of our understanding and interpretation of some of the major motorcyclist safety research topics including: alcohol, conspicuity, motorcycle design and equipment, helmets and helmets laws, lane splitting, licensing, motorist awareness, perception, protective gear, roads and rider training. A very brief summary of the research is provided and SMARTER shares the associations ideas about what needs to be done in that area in order to reduce the risk of motorcyclists crashing and thereby reducing injuries, seriousness of injuries and fatalities.
SMARTER PowerPoint presentation at the 2019 State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) conference held September 12-14 in Grand Rapids, MI. The information presented in the workshop is counterintuitive and challenges our common assumptions; however, the ideas are rooted in the available research. The belief that traditional rider training, motorist awareness communication campaigns and motorcycle license endorsements are effective measures to reduce crash risk is not supported by available research. Insights collected from the research regarding what changes to these traditional countermeasures might lead to effectiveness were shared.
This is the Jan./Feb. 2018 Special Edition of Riding Smart. It summarizes the major research and literature reviews which address countermeasures in motorcyclist safety. Countermeasures are the things we do to try to reach our goals. This special issue is designed to provide a quick reference summary of the research regarding countermeasures that work (or have no evidence of working).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Easy to read summaries of the research related to nine strategies in four categories. Each strategy is rated on effectiveness, cost, use and time to implement.
2017 – “Powered Two- and Three-wheeler Safety. A Road Safety Manual for Decision-makers and Practitioners”
This manual published by the World Health Organization provides information for use in developing and implementing comprehensive measures to improve PTW safety. It examines the extent of PTW related fatalities and injuries, and the importance of addressing the key risk factors or PTW crashes. The steps outlined for conducting a situational assessment aim to help prioritize interventions, prepare a related plan of action and help implement and evaluate PTW safety measures.
2015 – “Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Eighth Edition, 2015, Chapter 5, Motorcycles”
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Chapter 5 is 33 pages including references that provide easy to read summaries of the research related to nine strategies in four categories. A strategy is rated on effectiveness, cost, use and time to implement.
The specific aims of this 93 page report were to summarize current knowledge on the effectiveness of the full range of motorcyclist safety countermeasures and to estimate the potential crash reduction and injury benefits that could be expected from applying identified effective motorcyclist safety countermeasures.
National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention. This document provides a chart (page 10) rating nine typical motorcyclist safety efforts as unknown, uncertain, likely, and scientifically proven.
This is an extensive overview conducted in the UK. The aim of this research is to identify whether there are any differences between serious and fatal road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists and examine ways of increasing safety and reducing casualty involvement through education, engineering and enforcement initiatives.
2010 – “The Potential of Different Countermeasures in Reducing Motorcycle Fatal Crashes: What In-Depth Studies Tell Us”
This document is a 10 page summary of a 2010 study that used in-depth studies of 182 fatal motorcycle crashes that occurred in Sweden during the period 2005-2008. Every fatal crash was analyzed and critical events throughout the chain of events leading to the crash were identified. An assessment was then made of whether certain countermeasures could have prevented the crash or mitigated the injury outcome. More than 30 countermeasures are addressed, each with a short paragraph summarizing potential effectiveness.
National Cooperative Highway Research Program. This is a 177 page guide plus extensive references which identifies eight motorcyclist safety objectives, strategies associated with each objective and summaries of research relevant to each strategy, provides estimates of implementation timeframe, cost and expected effectiveness and identifies each strategy as proven, tried or experimental.
A report from Monash University, Australia. The review examined proposed countermeasures designed to prevent crashes or reduce injury in the event of a crash. The need for improvements in the measures or implementation of measures was discussed.
This Australian report presents the findings and recommendation of a world-wide review of the literature in motorcyclist safety research, covering the period 1987 to 1991. The literature examined was divided into a number of categories which included the following: alcohol, licensing, rider training, motorcycle design features, road environment, public education and awareness and helmet design. For each category, current research relating to countermeasures is reviewed, the success or failure of existing applications is documented, the relevance to Australia is assessed, and recommendations and directions for future research are noted.