Finding evidence-based strategies to improve motorcycle safety: A case-control study on serious injury crashes in Victoria
Submission Date: 2013
The popularity of motorcycling combined with rider vulnerability necessitates a high priority on motorcycle safety. The most recent comprehensive case-control study of motorcycle crashes in Australia was conducted 15 years ago, when the road environment was dramatically different. The aim of this study was to provide a contemporary evidence base to inform motorcycle safety. The study employs a case-control design with two components: 1) with the rider as the unit of the analysis, and 2) with the road infrastructure as the unit of analysis. Participants are injured riders admitted to hospital (cases), or riders who pass the crash site (controls). Each case investigation included a questionnaire-interview, inspection of crash site and motorcycle, and inspection of a control site. This paper reports on cases only. The study has recruited 75 cases to date. 25% of case riders were aged under 30yrs, and one-third reported a total riding experience of less than 3 years. 60% of crashes involved another road user. The most common self-reported crash scenario was another vehicle turning into the path of the rider (31%). 68% of cases occurred in urban areas and one-quarter of crashes occurred on a Sunday or public holiday. Half of crashes occurred at intersections, and 21% occurred at a corner or bend. Calculations indicated that the rider was exceeding the speed limit in 27% of those cases where travel speed could be estimated. Case data so far shows a number of key differences from previous studies. When combined with control data at the completion of collection, this study will provide new evidence-based recommendations relating to safe roads, safe speeds, safe road users and safe vehicles.