Motorcyclists' Perceptions and Experiences of Riding and Risk, and Their Advice For Safety.

Traffic injury prevention

PubMedID: 24761932

Simpson JC, Wilson S, Currey N. Motorcyclists' Perceptions and Experiences of Riding and Risk, and Their Advice For Safety. Traffic Inj Prev. 2014;0.
ABSTRACT Objective: To examine the knowledge, observations and perceptions of motorcycle riders on the risks of on-road motorcycling and potential safety measures to give insight and guidance for developing policies, programmes and legislation to improve the safety of motorcyclists. Methods: Individual and focus group interviews were conducted with dealers and a cross section of motorcyclists' from selected regions across New Zealand. The interviews were analysed and coded to identify common themes and diverse perspectives on why people rode motorcycles, riders' perceptions on risk, and possible safety strategies for on-road motorcycling. Findings and discussion: Motorcycling has major benefits for riders, although most riders perceived that the risks could be severe and they were susceptible to injury. Their observations on the threats and barriers to safety focused on three components: the rider, the motorcycle and the environment. Risks included inexperience, not riding to the conditions, choice of motorcycle, protective clothing and conspicuity, and speed. The underlying risk of being on two wheels was accentuated by the availability of highly powered motorcycles. The threats perceived in the environment included the behaviour of other road users, especially car drivers, and the poor roading conditions and surrounds encountered. Conclusions: Riders identified risks that have been recognised in the road safety literature, and also risks for which there are no engineering or scientific solutions. To effectively increase motorcyclist safety, recognition of the commonalities and the differences between motorcyclists' perspectives and proposed strategies is needed. This approach is more likely to engage riders, and thus support positive behaviour change among riders and drivers.