MOTORCYCLE SAFETY – AN OXYMORON.
Keywords: Motorcycles and Scooters
Submission Date: 2002
Road trauma levels have stabilised in Australia and in Victoria may be increasing. About 15% of fatalities, 10% of serious injuries and 7% of minor injuries relate to motorcycle travel though these vehicles account for only about 0.6% of vehicle occupant travel.
Principle reasons for this high level and motorcycle deaths and hospitalisation are:
• Motorcycle riders and pillions are unprotected road users
• Motorcycles are capable of very high acceleration rates compared to cars and very high speeds, but such acceleration and speed can only be safely undertaken in straight line travel
• Motorcycles are inherently unstable
• Humans can only survive direct impact with cars or fixed objects up to impact speeds of around 80 – 90 km/h
• There are significantly higher levels of “illegal’ activity associated with motorcycle travel;
• Motorcycle riders have a belief set that allows them to rationalise away the risks of motorcycle travel, and
• Motorcyclists and others incorrectly believe that drivers should see them, and that if the drivers don’t see them the crash is the drivers fault.