Addition to the reading list

Thanks to Malc for reminding me of this particular paper. It’s getting on a little in years now but still asks and attempts to answer some important question.


The study attempts to prove that the accident liability of drivers is not dependent on the type of motor vehicle used and that for the same age and experience the accident levels of twmv riders and car drivers are not very different.Although official statistics on accidents and casualties appear to show that motorcycling is many times more dangerous than car driving, it is believed that these figures overstate the situation. The study examines official and other data in order to judge the matter fairly and makes proposals for future policies that could be followed by both trade and users of twmvs. It is suggested that as there are wide variations of driving behaviour and competance amongst both motorcyclists and car drivers, such variations should be taken into account before conclusions are made. Continue reading

Addition to the reading list

Martin Langham’s PhD thesis offers an alternative to the conventional understanding on why “motorcycles don’t stand out”, which argue that it is the result of poor conspicuity. Langham shows that experienced drivers actually use learned search patterns which are poor at detecting motorcycles close to the driver, when compared with inexperienced riders who haven’t learned these visual search patterns.

An investigation of the role of vehicle conspicuity in the ‘Looked but failed to see’ error in driving – Martin Paul Langham; Thesis presented for Doctor of Philosophy
University of Sussex School of Cognitive and Computing Sciences

A Bike Odyssey – a journey on two wheels

by Kevin Williams

Sometime in August 1975, aged 19, I got mobile.

I’d spent a year out between school and university and cycling to work when the railways were on strike had convinced me there were easier ways to get from A to B than bicycles. With a university place beckoning in central London, I also needed a way of getting around in the city, as well as something cheap to run and easy to park.

A motorcycle was the obvious answer. Continue reading

Bikers aren’t bad people

Presentation by Kevin Williams MSc of Survival Skills Rider Training to the National Motorcycle Safety Seminar, Tuesday 16 November



Some years ago, I was waiting for a candidate to come back from the old-style Driving Standards Agency (DSA) motorcycle test when the examiner turned up early minus the trainee. That’s normally a sign the trainee’s lost the examiner (it happens), the bike’s broken down (occasionally) or the bike’s been dropped and is too damaged to ride (not uncommon if it happens during the on-road U turn – the brake or clutch levers can snap off). In this case, he told me that she’d dropped the bike. Continue reading