What the motorcycle manufacturing industry can tell us about why motorcycles crash.

Considering mechanical failure accounts for so few accidents nowadays you would have thought that the way bikes are built and the way they are ridden wouldn’t have much of a connection. You would be wrong in this assumption however because bikes are built and bikes are ridden in what are commonly known as ‘systems’ and how systems work and sometimes fail to work is critical to our understanding of accident causation. Continue reading

Why do riders crash in corners?

Why do riders crash in corners? After all, had they not successfully negotiated a lot of other corners before they reached the one that got them? Was there something about certain corners that made them more likely to be accident sites? Why did these riders select a particular corner entry speed that proved to be so spectacularly incorrect? What is the process that we use for judging the severity of a corner and selecting a suitable entry speed? Do we all use the same method, or are there a number of ways in which we can analyse a corner before we reach it? Continue reading

GAPS = TRAPS

Gaps = TrapsGAPS = TRAPS

It’s the prediction that wherever there is space & time for something hazardous to occur, then there is a potential that it will actually happen. Knowing this and being prepared minimises the likelihood of being surprised in the event of it actually happening.

Whether it is a vehicle waiting at a junction, vehicles in moving or stationary traffic or vehicles moving towards you or away from you on straight roads or bends…knowing there is a gap means that gap can possibly be filled by something else. If you are aiming to occupy the same space at the same time then there has been a prediction failure and the result will be a collision. Continue reading

No Surprise makes the Road Safety GB front page!

What’s No Surprise? No Accident! all about?

Motorcycle crashes are frequently blamed on human error and often linked to ‘attitude’ and ‘behaviour’. However, most crashes do not involve ‘bad apples’ with an extensive history of law-breaking and driving violations. Most crashes happen to ‘ordinary’ riders doing what they thought was an everyday thing. Continue reading

Going To The Polls!

As part of the ongoing engagement process I have developed an initial poll of six questions to gauge rider opinions on some riding rights & safety issues. The polls have been designed to reflect the possible opinion variance and offer balanced options to choose from.

The poll shall be ongoing for the foreseeable future with the current results being easily viewable and you will be able to measure your own responses with the rest of the response pool. Continue reading

What do I do in the meantime?

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

Cango? Willgo!

SUMMARY

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

What clues are at accident scenes which will truly determine the causes?

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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

IPSGA II – A new paradigm for the use of information in ‘The System’

ipsga II jpeg

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