Motorcycle crashes investigated like never before

A survey of motorcyclists involved in motorcycle crashes has been analysed in a new and eye-opening way

Motorcycle crash - crash test dummy

FOR many years the advice has been to ride slower to be safer. And that kind of makes sense; lower speed gives you more time to react to hazards, less energy for your body to endure and more time and space for other road users to react to you.

But a study conducted in 2019, and which the results are just being released from, seems to show that a motorcycle accident is a much more complicated and random event. It paints a picture of a scenario where the velocity of the motorcycle isn’t always the deciding factor in whether or not the rider is seriously injured or not.

The study shows that of all the accidents reported, Saturday afternoon, between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, is the most likely time that a motorcycle accident would occur. Respondents to the survey also recorded that most accidents occurred when visibility was good, with over 60% of riders claiming to have crashed when it was sunny.

One of the most interesting stats revealed is that there is no direct correlation between the speed of the bike and the severity of the injury or the time spent in hospital as a result. In fact, the resulting injuries and time spent in hospital looks like an almost random factor, occurring at almost any speed but not tied directly to high speed.

Now let’s be clear; Visordown is not urging you or anyone to go out and ride like the wind because it’s safe. Not at all. The point is that the finger of blame, in a motorcycle crash that involves another vehicle, all to often falls on the rider and the impression that they were riding too fast. That might not always be the case.

The study was conducted by Elaine Hardy, Martin Winkelbauer, Dimitri Margaritis and James Ouellet. Each has an in-depth understanding of motorcycle crashes and has work in the crash investigation field. In the study motorcyclists who had been involved in a crash in the last ten years, were asked to submit their experiences in the incident in an online survey. It consisted of 39 questions, covering things like riding experience, licence type, clothing and helmet worn, motorcycle type, capacity, road conditions and the dynamics of the crash – speed, braking (ABS), damage, injury and time in hospital.

You can read the whole thing here: