Nottingham University undertakes safety study using motorcycle simulator
SCIENTISTS AT Nottingham University have investigated the attitudes, behaviours and skills of different types of riders according to their level of experience and training, using a new motorcycle simulator - with surprising results.
The study, carried out by researchers at The University of Nottingham’s Centre for Motorcycle Ergonomics & Rider Human Factors, was designed to find out whether or not riders with advanced training actually ride better than those that don't have an advanced qualification.
Using a Triumph Daytona 675 motorcycle mounted on a custom simulator, three groups of riders were put through identical scenarios, 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 from the Human Factors Research Group, said: “This is one of the most in-depth studies of its kind ever conducted. It’s been a fantastic opportunity for us in the Faculty of Engineering to work alongside colleagues in the School of Psychology focusing on high impact research with a relevance to all motorcyclists. It has demonstrated clear differences between the rider groups and potential benefits to advanced training above and beyond rider experience and basic training. Whilst 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 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 on their responsibility to themselves and other road users.”
A full report of the findings is due in December 2010.
It's funny as there is a local Advanced group here in Berkshire, a few years ago now a colleague tried to coax me to join, however that year there were a few crashes locally and the majority were from that group, one fell off on Diesel on a roundabout so he wasn't "reading the conditions" well.
I said thanks but no thanks, some of them really do think they are the dogs danglies and have an arrogance about them which also put's you off.
I've had no accidents or convictions in 29 years so feel i'm doing ok.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 10:30
How much money was used to confirm what has been know by riders for years?
Agree with Timpster - some of the 'advanced' groups seem to think they know it all and don't need to think anymore. They should realise they need to practice these 'dark arts' all the time - not just for an assessment
Having said that there are some groups which do maintain their standards.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 12:28
I'm a member of that group (TVAM I assume you're referring to).
It's true that arrogance exists with some individuals, but I personally try to distance myself those that act that way. It's not all of us.
I don't feel having the 'advance' certificate magically elevates you above every other road user. I think there are plenty of non-certified riders who are much better than the pass standard: much better than my standard.
But I do think that a lot of people can benefit from the training. Most people think they are above average riders, and maths says some of them must be wrong (or one person is REALLY bad, bringing down the average I suppose). The training isn't going to turn a good rider into a bad one; it might make them a bit better. But for the average rider (and below) it could make a big improvement on their riding.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 12:51
You are right Timothy, the colleague who asked me to join is a great bloke and not cocky or arrogant in the slightest, unfortunately the few i met while thinking about it made my mind up, no matter how good you are though you can always learn something to improve no matter who you are or how long you've been riding.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 13:31
I joined my local group but didn't renew after the initial year as I didn't enjoy the experience. The emphasis seemed to be about speed and how being an advanced rider meant you could read the road and go fast. I ride a touring bike, two up mostly, and hacking round lanes isn't my interest. I do think the way the local groups are organised and run is very variable as while touring I have met other advanced riders with different attitudes.
I did a theory course and use the advanced riding book but I'm afraid, as was mentioned previously, the people in my local group were rather arrogant and dismissive of new recruits which is a great shame for the organisation.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 13:44
"It's funny as there is a local Advanced group here in Berkshire, a few years ago now a colleague tried to coax me to join, however that year there were a few crashes locally and the majority were from that group, one fell off on Diesel on a roundabout so he wasn't "reading the conditions" well."
In chapter one of Motorcycle Roadcraft there is a section entitled "Overconfidence after Training".
Its a recognised and well documented issue with people who have undergone advanced training.
Not everyone suffers from it, but unfortunately some do. I have been organising rideouts on here and elsewhere for the last 10 years. I generally have a couple of people come off each year, nothing to serious just a "minor" off through misjudging something...
Guess what? The larger part of them have green badges on their bikes.
So what? It doesn't mean a advanced instruction doesn't work. It just means those individuals let their confidence overshadow their competence. Advanced riding instruction isn't a cure all. The rider's head is still the only thing making the decisions, right or wrong....
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 20:14
dont matter what training you have. if you dont think for yourself youll always be a poor rider. if you self assess and think for youself, you just to to practice.
as for roadcraft, its all in one book and advanced trainign is based on the police roadcraft manual which costs about 10 quid on amazon.
Posted: 01/12/2010 at 21:03
It s a complicated simple issue. But the big one I think is a sense of fear. If you have no fear, you're dead or a world champion racer.
Fortunately I do have fear, and i confess I speed (or so they call it) like a mad hatter, but only when my fear level tells me its safe to do so (which is often). Been riding 20 years and no accidents, avoided them though, seen plenty though, one big one.
My mate wants to get a bike, I keep telling him not too, he has no fear, he will die, training may help, but I doubt it, he's born to die, no fear gene.
Posted: 02/12/2010 at 02:36
I'm a born again biker at the ripe old age of 47 and a company car driver that has racked up 40k miles each year for longer than I care to remember. I agree with the majority of the comments here. During my 30 years driving the only accidents I've had are an off on ice, an aquaplaning incident and somebody driving out of a junction into the side of me while I was stationary. I have also done a good few track days and have been involved in motor racing without incident. I consider myself to be a good driver.
However, not so long ago I took some advance driver training and am pleased to say I learnt a great deal. My instructor marked me as a well above average driver with good anticipation, good road positioning, excellant awareness etc etc you get the idea, but I still came away with practices that have improved my driving and made me safer. I will be doing the same on the bike.
It seems too many people miss the fact that you can always improve. Never mind the arrogance of some involved in advanced training, you're not doing this for them. The only thing that matters is that you get better and stay safer. My experience in cars leads me to believe it is a worthwhile exercise for everybody. I'm sure the rider training will be too.
Posted: 02/12/2010 at 12:51
I agree with Ian. I recently passed the IAM test but had a very positive experience with my local group. The senior observer was very much of the mindset that we should always be thinking about our riding and looking to learn from experiences (good and bad).
too fast, it sounds like you've had a very negative experience with "advanced" riders. I certainly wouldn't describe anyone with that kind of arrogant mindset as advanced - not least because they seem to have an inflated sense of their own ability, which of itself is a major accident causation factor.
At the risk of sounding over-cynical, I do have some question marks about that study on the basis it was funded by the IAM and the riders' level of "safety" was probably judged according to IAM training. Therefore, it's likely to have been a foregone conclusion that IAM-trained riders would be judged as "safer". Had it involved numerous collision opportunities where more non-trained riders had experienced virtual collisions than trained riders, it would have more credibility in my view.
Posted: 02/12/2010 at 17:48
The advanced riding process is self selecting in as much as it tends only to attract thinking riders who wish to improve.
Those that think they don't need to improve or don't think hard enough about hazards usually don't end up taking IAM or RoSPa tests and are more likely to end up in hospital.
The fact that the results are "surprising" is rather a strange phrase since the the original version of Roadcraft (The basis of IAM and RosPA training) was put together early post-war and has been available to the public via TSO for 60 years.
As far as I can see this survey states the bleeding obvious and does not address issues such as the demographic that will never consider advanced riding as an option, the trickier issues of normal riding (night, wet conditions, skid control etc.) which IAM fail to address properly
One final point, insurance companies work on statistics, the statistic that advanced riding reduces risk was proven to them many years ago, and that is why they offer a discount - Why didnt Nottingham just ask the insurers for information and save some money !
Conclusion: this survey was a waste of the money that I and others pay to IAM and the taxes we all pay for research in higher education.
Posted: 03/12/2010 at 17:31
I wonder why they chose a light cutting-edge sports bike for the trial, when most advanced riders tend towards touring or sport-touring machines? (sweeping generalisation , I know!)
I've done the RoSPA test twice and learned a huge amount(passed 'good silver' both times). I tried to encourage friends to likewise, and most of the reactions were along the lines of: "It's not for me", "I don't think I'm good enough", "I don't ride long distances" etc. All very good reasons FOR advaned training. No matter what you ride or what your age or experience you can never have too much extra training!
Posted: 07/12/2010 at 20:11
It's always amusing to hear people saying that "all" the advanced riders I've met were this or that or that I didn't go and do advanced training because they're all arrogant and it's no substitute for experience.
What are these people afraid of? Are they so insecure that they can't try something like advanced training (i.e. actually do it) and then take what's useful and disregard the rest? Sure there are mixed attidtudes and personalities in advanced groups - surprise they consist of human beings.
I'm IAM and Rospa in the car, IAM on the bike and have taken other further training in both. I don't think I'm God's gift to either and I remind myself often of how badly it can go wrong and how fallible I am. I also try to learn from people who have no advanced training (either through their mistakes or from their good riding/driving stemming from experience or talent).
Take any and every opportunity to learn something and then feel free to ignore it if you wish. Believing you know better without learning first is true arrogance (grasshopper )
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 10:47
Advanced training is giving you "Time to react", Thats what I have learned and put to good use, wish I did not have to , but as all Bikers know, the unpredictable always happens. I have a very good friend and Uncle who have ridden Bikes all their motoring life, including track etc. I rate them good Bikers, they ask for input now and then, I reciprocate from them too. When you think your too good, think yourself as next statistic!
If you see a police biker, and he is approachable(having a drink or break) they are more than happy to give you an observed ride, it is in their remit to do a few.
Very good points raised above and to point.
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 17:20
A lot of good positive points made above:
StuartB, "What are these people afraid of? Are they so insecure that they can't try something like advanced training (i.e. actually do it) and then take what's useful and disregard the rest?"
Some people are "stuck" mate. Hopefully they will get themselves unstuck one day and move-on; maybe even work on improving their skills instead of avoiding or denying the problem.
Posted: 08/12/2010 at 22:37
And WHAT happened when the tested riders who have NOT done IAM advanced training but HAVE done Race traing?
THEN who was fastest and most hazard aware?
Posted: 01/02/2011 at 13:23
I agree with the rest Dave but not with tyour statement 'Insurance companies give discount to IAM/advance trained riders'.
Truth is some DO offer discount BUT, so far as I've been able to tell, only the ones who were expensive to start off with - NOT the ones who offer best value.
So OK that half proves your point (the bit about assessed risk) but its not an unqualified incentive for IAM. If you want to reduce your insurance you'd have more success using the time you'd have spent training to shop aroundinstead.
Posted: 01/02/2011 at 13:37
My ex-( no suprise there) wife suggested quite forcefully that I consider taking some advanced training after throwing the bike down A49 with her on the back.I did so and learn a lot, first and foremost that because I thought that having raced made me an ace on the road I had been riding like a Wally, overconfident, taking silly risks going quicker than was appropriate.
A self assessment would have read very simply "Twat"
Doing any kind of advanced training can, to anyone who is open-minded, be beneficial.
I can make good forward progress when I wish, I don't wear knee sliders and think that wearing them and trying to get you need down on the road is for silly billies.
No doubt given a couple of hundred miles to ride I would not be the first to arrive at the destination but I would have enjoyed the ride and ultimately that's what we all want and we need to do that at our Own pace, not someone else's
Posted: 01/02/2011 at 14:39
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