A pioneering new study that aims to use data logging equipment installed on motorcycles to record motorcyclists’ behavior, thereby offering new insights about the causes of accidents, has just begun.
The MSF 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study is the first of its kind into motorcycle accidents. It is based on a similar study into car accident prevention. The study is sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, with help from the Virginia Tech transportation Institute.
The study will be conducted over a period of one year, and will involve more than 100 motorcycles, each of which will be fitted with recording equipment. The equipment will include cameras, trackers and other aids that will help researchers monitor motorcyclists’ behavior as they ride every day.
Unlike other motorcycle safety studies, the goal here is to actually observe motorcyclists on a day-to-day basis. The data logging equipment is installed in an unobtrusive manner, so motorcyclists don’t really feel like they’re being observed. The goal is to understand how motorcyclists operate on a daily basis, and the kind of challenges they face. Additionally, researchers expect new information about what exactly happens in the few seconds before a motorcyclist is involved in an accident. Thus far, motorcycles have not been observed in a natural setting, and most motorcycle studies only consider accidents that have already occurred.
What researchers hope to gain from this study is to learn from the motorcyclists, and use these insights to enhance motorcyclist education programs. Indiana personal injury lawyers also expect that the study will yield enough insights about motorcycle accident prevention to inspire federal and state transportation safety agencies. It’s been no secret that motorcycle accident death rates haves been consistent over the past decade, even as there has been a decline in car and truck accident fatalities. This study should help change that poor safety record.