Dynamics of Motorcycle Crashes – A Survey

Riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds who have been involved in a collision over the last ten years, are being invited to take part in a survey which is looking at the dynamics of motorcycle crashes.

A cooperative initiative carried out by a team of motorcycle crash investigative analysts is interested in your views as motorcyclists.

The analysts are: Stephane Espie, Research Director IFSTTAR, France; Elaine Hardy Motorcycle Research Analyst, UK;   Dimitris Margaritis, Research Associate, CERTH/HIT; Greece; James Ouellet, Hurt Report co-author, USA; Martin Winkelbauer, Senior Researcher, KFV, Austria.

All members of this team have been involved in motorcycle crash investigation studies over the years and are all motorcyclists.

The survey expands on a 2016 pilot study of 61 crash-involved riders from various countries including Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  All had been riding an ABS-equipped motorcycle when they crashed.  The findings of the pilot study found that the correlation between speed and serious injuries was random and indicated that riders overwhelmingly recognised the risk of injury and thus wore protective clothing and helmets.

In order to have a better understanding of the dynamics of motorcycle crashes this new survey expands the pilot study to cover eight different languages: French, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek and English. (To find the different languages there is a drop down menu at the start of the survey.)

The survey will be disseminated throughout Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, South America and beyond.

This time the survey looks at motorcycles with and without ABS in order to provide a comprehensive comparison of these braking systems.

Riders are asked 39 questions divided into four sections: 1) About you and your motorcycle; 2) Background; 3) Crash Details; 4) Comments. None of the questions is mandatory and responses are anonymous.

Riders’ Perspective

From a rider’s perspective, we are constantly being criticized for speeding, being risky or being responsible for our own crashes and injuries.  But we know that it’s not that simple, in fact it’s complicated and it would be really helpful to understand what happens, how it happens and why it happens.

There are numerous factors that need to be considered in all crashes and it’s time that you the rider gave your perspective about the circumstances.   The survey will remain live for six months and the aim is to produce a report for the beginning of 2020.

Dynamics of Motorcycle Crashes Survey – Click Here

For further information regarding this survey please contact Dr Elaine Hardy E-mail

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  1. Steve Ramsey says

    Had an accident in 2011. Van driver blamed me saying I was speeding because I wasn’t there then I hit the van. The van was turning across a two lane road, turning right. I was in the bus lane as allowed in Belfast. The case took 7 years to get sorted out. PPS not interested as it was my word against his. I ended up with three breaks in my lower right leg. Bad back, shoulders and neck and two huge scars on my leg.

    • Investigative Research Northern Ireland says

      Sorry to hear about your crash and the time it got to get sorted.

      Please fill in the survey, your crash and the dynamics of your crash and injuries is just what is required – Dynamics of Motorcycle Crashes Survey – Click Here

  2. Owen Anderson says

    It would be both interesting and valuable to collect and compare circumstantial data on close calls.

    • Hi Owen

      In 2009 I carried out a – Near Miss Study of Motorcycles – I hope you find this interesting.

      A Study of Motorcyclists in Northern Ireland, Southern Ireland and Great Britain

      During the months of May through to July 2009, a survey of 257 motorcyclists in Ireland (Northern and Southern) and Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) was carried out through the internet.

      In conclusion, “near miss” reporting offers authorities, road safety organisations, and researchers the opportunity to develop clearer and more meaningful strategies to reduce road casualties, through further research and even by developing a system of self-reporting.

      View document – pdf – 1.83mb – Click Here

  3. Patrick Linzer says

    I’m from South Africa, which isn’t covered by the survey, so I’m adding this comment here.

    I do a lot of commuting in dense city traffic and have been a motorcyclist since 1980. In that time, I’ve had four scrapes, the first and only one of which was my own doing (applying the front brake too hard on a loose gravel surface the very first time I got on a bike). No serious injuries.

    The second one involved a passenger vehicle braking sharply for no reason at all in front of me as I was looking over my shoulder to overtake it. I still managed mostly to avoid the car but my crash bar struck the car’s bumper. No injuries, except for a nasty bump on my shin from the crash bar.

    The third involved a pedestrian suddenly stepping out from between cars, i.e. jaywalking, during gridlock while I was lane-splitting (which is perfectly legal in South Africa). Nobody was injured, but the bike suffered some horrible scrapes and damage from being dropped, miraculously not hitting anything else.

    The last incident involved a very young and inexperienced driver of a small car driving straight out of a side entrance, and striking the rear wheel of my bike and so knocking it down and me off of it. Fortunately, I was almost at a standstill when this happened. The other driver attempted to flee the scene but was accosted by a quick-thinking motorist who had witnessed the incident and gave chase. A case of reckless and negligent driving is pending.

    But probably my greatest bugbear as a longtime motorcyclist is drivers of large SUVs and 4x4s. The vast majority of drivers of these vehicle types seem to have no clue about proper lane position, almost invariably being too far to one side of their lane, rather than in the middle. In contrast, large buses, lorries, and trucks typically get it right. Whether wittingly or unwittingly, those delinquent drivers present a significant hazard to motorcyclists, especially when lane-splitting, which, as I’ve indicated above, is legal in South Africa.

    I don’t know if the above is of any use to the researchers.

  4. Elaine Hardy says

    Hi Patrick,

    The survey is global so South Africa is covered, simply put in the country of residence and country where you crashed in the appropriate question. The period we are looking is between January 2010 and March 2019.

    So if you could fill in the survey that would be fantastic.



  5. Eselyn Ince says

    I was knocked off my Motorcycle at 2145h, July 22, 2017. I had the right of way in an interection. My 1st accident after close to 30 years of riding. I was unconscious until the ambulance took me to the trauma centre. I sustained an unstable pelvic #. Two wks in trama, two wks in Rehab hospital & sixteen months away from work. Thank God, I was luckier than some. Protocal in Toronto is, you inform your insurance company & you obtain a lawyer. They were instrumental in getting me the help in needed & settling the case; but compensation can not make up for the trust & confidence that’s lost. It can not take away the pain & future discomfort. I thank God for life & I bought another bike. I am now preaching to all 2 wheelers to, wear reglective clothing. It does not take away from the enjoyment of the ride.

  6. Dean Valentino says

    I am Canadian, but happily completed the survey. I have had 1 street crash that I owned up to being my idiotic behaviour (fall, fast, dark, rural road, deer…enough said). Do track and dirt crashes count? Because I am getting good at those too!! At 51 I should really stop crashing and stay upright!! Thanks for the work you do for motorcyclists.

    • Hi Dean, Thanks for your comments – it really makes it worthwhile to have support and hopefully we’ll be able to offer answers that make sense rather than relying on academic research which as we know can be biased. All the best, Kind regards, Elaine

  7. We have added the survey to our website http://www.bayarearidersforum.com

    Thanks to the AMA for heads up.
    I have been crash free since ’74 (not counting track and dirt) so I could not answer, but looking through the survey it is well done.

    Best wishes on a gathering critical information!

    Thank you


  8. Keen to pass on details of a very serious accident I was involved in 18 yrs ago. If you ever need details of accident, situation, personal impact or process details – police – hospital etc Then I’m happy to pass on any or all the info, story, whatever ! Not going to bore the pants off anyone here and now, bikers are fully aware of pretty much all the hazards we face on the roads.

    Quite happy to pass on personal interactions with drivers that amaze me with lack of understanding of driving or road conditions. I guess at my age I’ve probably heard or seen nearly everything that’s going to happen to most bikers.

    Have completed the requested survey with pleasure.

    • Thank you Steve for filling in the survey. No doubt you have amazing stories to tell. We have had a fantastic response from riders around the world. Hopefully we will have a report that reflects the views of all riders. Best, Elaine

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