So often is the case, we lie in wait until a solution to a problem is discovered or more so until the solution is implemented and is working.
If we look at motorcycle safety as an overarching concern, then it is with merit to identify certain issues that do or may cause motorcycle accidents…in fact we could extend this further into general road safety or any other area of concern and apply the same principles.
There are of course certain triggers that we may perceive as being the main causes and we may even campaign to effect changes to improve our position. Continue reading
If you’ve read the transcript of our ‘Bikers aren’t Bad People’ presention you’ll know that one thing that’s missing for motorcyclists is much in the way of ‘naturalistic’ riding data – studies nearly always focus on crashes, and usually crashes that result in injury or death at that. So we are very interested to see that The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) from the USA have just released the following press release:
IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 11, 2014 – Now that the data-acquisition phase of the MSF 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study is complete, preliminary results are being shared at various transportation safety venues, including the upcoming 10th International ifz-MSF Motorcycle Safety Conference, sponsored by the MSF and Germany’s Institute for Motorcycle Safety (ifz), in Cologne, Germany, on September 29 and 30. Continue reading
Collisions involve two road users attempting to occupy the same space on the road at the same time. Many accidents involving motorcycles are collisions with other road users, where the rider was taken by surprise but the collision was otherwise both commonplace and avoidable. The Cango?-Willgo! concept explains collisions in terms of prediction failure rather than the commonly-accepted explanation of rule-breaking or judgment failure. Cango?-Willgo! further extends the basic principle of No Surprise: No Accident. Continue reading
The No Surprise: No Accident rider safety initiative has been getting some interesting mail, by no means restricted to the UK either. Here’s a mail received a couple of days ago from Dan Carter of San Luis Obispo, California, USA. Dan says:
“I came across your website via discussion in a US forum here: ttp://www.msgroup.org/forums/mtt/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=15141
“Your theme–no surprise, no accident–resonates with me because my own view of crashes is the same: Most occur when an ordinary situation takes an unexpected turn. But why does the rider fail to anticipate it? Crashes are a relatively common occurrence, so we’re not talking about a meteor falling from the sky. Rather, the trigger is usually something that motorists are familiar with–a bend tightens, a driver fails to yield right of way, etc. Continue reading
Over many years of responding to motorcycle accidents, I have often wondered how much of the cause information and data extracted from scenes is actually made available to the public.
Of course there are general statements & causal factors and accident statistics that are readily available, but do we ever get the specifics of particular motorcycle accidents and how thoroughly are the root causes investigated.
One of the major problems of road collision investigation is that it rarely looks beyond the immediate cause and contributing factors are not given the prominence they may deserve.
What we need to ask is: :What caused the cause?”
In other transport collision investigations there is much more investigation into root causes and this information is generally disseminated through the user groups & industry…such as in aviation, although thankfully other transport modes tend to see much less frequent requirement for investigation and this is probably why they can invest so much more time on each one. Continue reading
We’ve been spotted, by the Idaho STAR Program, who wrote on Monday, December 01, 2014:
“Now that December is here, many of us consider the riding season to be essentially over. There may be a few more rides to be had sunny winter days, but for the most part, thoughts turn to ‘next season.’ This month, to get ourselves thinking about how we can make next season a safe one, I’d like to share a blog post from the UK. These folks are taking a unique and (in my opinion) very promising approach to the prevention of motorcycle crashes. If you find the blog post interesting, check out the rest of their site at nosurprise.org.uk.”
The Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program was created in 1994 and began rider training in 1995. STAR is an Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education program and is accredited by the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA).
For those of you not familiar with I.P.S.G.A or “The System” as it is popularly known it’s the favourite acronym of the advanced riding industry and stands for Information Position Speed Gear Accelerate. It was first devised at the Police College at Hendon over 60 years ago and has formed the core of the Police Rider’s Handbook or Roadcraft since then.
Taking the description of IPSGA straight from Wikipedia;
1. Information received from the outside world by observation, and given by use of signals such as direction indicators, headlamp flashes, and horn; is a general theme running continuously throughout the application of the system by taking, using and giving information;
2. Position on the road optimised for safety, visibility and correct routing, followed by best progress;
3. Speed appropriate to the hazard being approached, attained via explicit braking or throttle control (engine braking), always being able to stop in the distance you can see to be clear on your side of the road;
4. Gear appropriate for maximum vehicle control through the hazard, selected in one shift; and
5. Acceleration for clearing the hazard safely.
The taking, using and giving of Information is, arguably, most important and surrounds (and drives) the five phases IPSGA. It may, and often should, be re-applied at any phase in the System.
The System is used whenever a hazard requires a manoeuvre. A hazard is something which requires a change in speed, direction or both. The benefit of applying a systematic approach to driving is to reduce the simultaneous demands on the vehicle, the driver mentally and the driver physically. That is, the System seeks to separate out the phases of a manoeuvre into a logical sequence so that the vehicle and the driver avoid being overwhelmed by having to do too much at the same time. For example, braking and steering at the same time place greater demands on the vehicle’s available grip and in the worst case can lead to a skid. Continue reading
Here’s a site that’s new to me – the Road Safety Observatory, which aims to provide ‘key facts and summaries of research on road safety topics’. There’s one page devoted to motorcycles which has a reasonable ‘position statement’ together with a list of references. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it is a good place to start.
The Institute of Highway Engineers Motorcycling guidelines are an updated version of a set of award-winning guidelines for highways engineers and road safety professionals originally produced in 2005 and aimed at encouraging greater awareness of the needs of powered two-wheelers and effective interventions to improve safety.
The most recent update reflects changes in policy and advances in technology and knowledge.
All the way back on CBT, riders are taught to ‘see and be seen’; to try to put themselves in positions where other drivers have a line of sight with them in it, and to find position where they open up lines of sight into blind areas. That’s not a concept unique to post-test training.
As part of that explanation, new riders are also taught to look for eye contact. It might be a faulty concept (as the ‘Science of Being Seen’ presentation I deliver demonstrates – “he was looking right at me and still pulled out”) but if we can’t see the driver’s eyes then we’re not in his line of vision, and it doesn’t matter whether that’s because he’s looking the other way, because there are pedestrians or a post box on the pavement, or the car’s lined up with the door pillar in the way of his view of the bike. Continue reading