Saturday, December 04, 2010

Advanced Motorcycle Training better than experience ?

A new study using a motorcycle simulator has found advanced safety training may be better than the school of life when it comes to handling emergency situations on the road.

Using a Triumph Daytona 675 motorcycle mounted on a custom rig designed and built at the University Nottingham’s Centre for Motorcycle Ergonomics & Rider Human Factors in England, three groups of riders were studied.

The aim of the research was to investigate the attitudes, behaviors and skills of different types of riders according to their level of experience and training with simulation software projecting different riding scenarios onto a large screen in front of the rider.

The groups; novice, experienced and those who had taken advanced motorcycle training. The three groups of riders were put through identical scenarios on the simulator as well as other tasks in the laboratory to test aspects of their hazard perception and behavior.

“This is one of the most in-depth studies of its kind ever conducted,” Dr. Alex Stedmon from the Human Factors Research Group, said, “It’s been a fantastic opportunity for us in the Faculty of Engineering to work alongside colleagues in the School of Psychology focusing on high impact research with a relevance to all motorcyclists.”

The findings showed that experience on its own does not necessarily make riders safer on the road and in some cases the experienced riders behaved more like the novice riders.

Those riders who had taken advanced motorcycle safety training however used better road positioning to anticipate and respond to hazards, kept to urban speed limits, and actually made better progress through bends than the other groups of novice and experienced bikers.

“Whilst experience seems to help develop rider skills to an extent, advanced training appears to develop deeper levels of awareness, perception and responsibility,” Dr. Alex Stedmon noted, “It also appears to make riders better urban riders and quicker, smoother and safer riders in rural settings.”

The full findings of the study are expected to be released later in December.

“This is real cutting edge research and the hazard perception results, in particular, have shown that advanced riders were quicker to identify hazards and had a greater awareness on their responsibility to themselves and other road users,” Dr. David Crundall from the School of Psychology added.

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