Friday, April 09, 2010

Motorcycle Safety Studies

webBikeWorld is reporting the release of reports of motorcycle safety studies from the Highway Loss Data Institute, an affiliate of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The reports include comparison data on ABS vs. non-ABS brakes, insurance claims in states with vs. without mandatory helmet laws, and the accident rates of formally safety trained v. non-trained riders.  When you read them, consider these studies with a skeptical eye -- the IIHS has been historically more concerned with protecting the insurance industry's economic well-being than it is with motorcyclists' safety.  The IIHS motorcycle-related studies I've read in the past have been long on correlation and very short on causation, so the science is very suspect.  Further, the IIHS seems to greatly favor modifying or banning equipment (remember its proposed sportbike ban a few years ago?)  over modifying rider behavior or rider training as a means of increasing rider safety.  That's not saying that the IIHS doesn't have a few valid points, e.g. I'm sure we all realize that ABS can prevent many crashes in real-world situations, even if we don't all agree that ABS should be mandatory.

2 Comments:

Blogger Geoff James said...

Excellent post which I've only just seen. There's a very good report here: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme2/rsrr85.pdf. which looks at the attitude of car drivers to motorcycle riders. A refreshing approach I thought.

Best wishes,

Geoff
http://www.geoffjames.blogspot.com/

May 19, 2010 at 11:12:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Doug Just Doug said...

Geoff, thanks for visiting & for the link. I quickly skimmed the report (I'll study it later) and particularly like the suggestion that a study be conducted to determine why car drivers with motorcycling experience are less likely to cause collision with motorcycles.

May 20, 2010 at 10:50:00 AM EDT  

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