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Motorcyclist perceptions of risk when riding.

Weissenfeld, A, Baldock, M, Hutchinson, T P (Peer reviewed)

Motorcyclists

ACRS conference 2013

The aim of this study was to explore the perceptions that a sample of South Australian motorcyclists have of the greatest risks to themselves whilst riding on the road. This was inclusive of both commuting and recreational riding.

The analysis was based on the self reported responses to a questionnaire being used in an ongoing study examining the human factors involved in motorcycling safety and behaviour. Participants responded to an open ended question of: what are the greatest risks to motorcyclists on the road today? Flyers placed on parked motorcycles in the Adelaide Central Business District, presentations at social motorcycle clubs, and advertising on online forums provided a total of 72 participants. Age and riding experience of the motorcyclists varied considerably, with the age ranging from 19 to 76 years (mean=49.2, SD=15.4), riding experience from 0.5 to 60 years (mean=19.8, SD=16.6), and average riding each week from 1 to 30 hours (mean=6.2, SD=4.5).

The responses fell across seven distinct themes: other road users, the motorcyclists

themselves, aspects of the motorcycle, road surface conditions, road design hazards, roadside environment hazards and policing. Age and riding experience were associated with what riders chose as being most important for motorcyclist safety. Differences between objectively researched hazards and subjectively perceived hazards are discussed.

The results provide some insight into what motorcyclists consider to be the greatest threats to themselves and suggest some directions for future research.