Right To Ride has published an in-depth study of motorcycle fatalities in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2010 which includes information relating to the vehicles involved, the collision scene and environment, and human factors.
The ‘Northern Ireland Motorcycle Fatality Report 2012’, which is supported by the British Motorcyclists Federation Foundation, examines 39 incidents in which 41 motorcyclists were fatality injured, which equates to 36% of total motorcycle fatalities during the period 2004-2010.
The evidence indicates that each road traffic collision is unique, but that the time frame from the perceived hazard to the conclusion of the impact, either with another vehicle or with road infrastructure, was typically between two and three seconds.
In 63.4% of cases, motorcyclists applied their brakes prior to the collision, and 43.9% applied their brakes severely. Of the 41.4% of motorcyclists who slid after falling, 24.4% fell onto their right side and 17.1% fell onto their left side. The report identified two cases where Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) may have made a difference to the outcome.
Of the 39 cases analysed, there were 17 in which another vehicle was considered the primary cause of the collision. In 13 of these, the evidence highlighted that the motorcycle’s lights were switched on and therefore the other vehicle driver was in a position to see them.
A focus group which discussed the relevance of technology in vehicles as a deterrent to collisions, as well as the advantages of teaching hazard perception and anticipation in initial and advanced training, concluded that while technology may be beneficial, good training was more important. However, the availability, image and cost of advanced training seems to be a barrier in getting more riders involved. According to the focus group, the best solution to avoid road traffic collisions is anticipation and hazard awareness.