The US-based Motorcycle Safety Foundation has teamed up with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to work on a new report that will explore the factors that determine motorcycle safety.
While plenty of people love to proclaim how dangerous motorcycles are, there’s a surprising lack of scientific study done on how motorcyclists crash, and why. The most famous study is the historic Hurt Report, but that was published over 30 years ago. A lot has changed on the highways since then; ABS is standard on many new models, drivers are distracted by handheld electronic devices and increasing urban sprawl has turned many former country roads into busy highways.
According to their press release, the MSF’s new study has begun to ” identify which factors lead to safe riding, and which factors lead to crashes and near-crashes.” They’re compiling data from 363,000 miles of riding, from riders aged 21-80, from wide backgrounds, including commuters and people who ride for pleasure, people who wear gear and those who don’t, and both frequent and infrequent riders.
The MSF study will use a combination of cameras and sensors to analyze crashes or other noteworthy events that happen during the test subject’s ride. This way, they should know if the rider was going too fast, or if they were pushed around by an aggressive cager, or whatever factors could come into play to cause crashes or unsafe conditions.
The MSF press release didn’t state when we’d see the report, but when it’s released, we’re sure it’ll give serious motorcyclists plenty to argue about. We’ll keep you as up-to-date on the information as we can.