Safer doesn’t mean slower
By: Web Editor
New research using a unique motorcycle simulator to analyse rider behaviour has found that safer riding doesn’t necessarily mean being slower.
The study, carried by the University of Nottingham on behalf of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), indicates that training does make for safer riders.
The aim of the research was to investigate the attitudes, behaviours and skills of different types of riders according to their level of experience and training. The study was designed to find out whether or not riders with advanced training ride differently to novice or experienced riders who don’t have an advanced qualification.
As previously featured in MCM, the simulator uses a Triumph Daytona 675 mounted on a custom rig designed and built at the University. Specially designed software projects a range of riding scenarios onto the screen.
Three groups of riders were put through identical scenarios on the simulator as well as other tasks in the laboratory to test aspects of their hazard perception and behaviour.
The findings showed that experience on its own does not make riders safer on the road and, in some cases, the experienced riders behaved more like the novice riders.
Advanced riders used better road positioning to anticipate and respond to hazards, kept to urban speed limits, and actually made better progress through bends than riders without the formal advanced training.
Dr Alex Stedmon one of the lead researchers, said: "This is one of the most in-depth studies of its kind ever conducted. While experience seems to help develop rider skills to an extent, advanced training appears to develop deeper levels of awareness, perception and responsibility. It also appears to make riders better urban riders and quicker, smoother and safer riders in rural settings."
Dr Stedmon’s colleague, Dr David Crundall from the School of Psychology added: "This is real cutting edge research and the hazard perception results, in particular, have shown that advanced riders were quicker to identify hazards and had a greater awareness of their responsibility to themselves and other road users."
Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at the Institute for Advanced Motorists, said: “We work to promote safer riding, educating riders to maintain momentum and progress where possible. So we were pleased to learn that advanced riders trained by us adopted the safest road position to deal with hazards while still managing to achieve the quickest time through bends. This research proves that the organisation’s advanced system of motorcycle training delivers real and sustainable benefits in anticipation, better road positioning and swift but safe progress in a wide range of road environments.”
A full report of the findings is due shortly.
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