Research Papers

Drivers' Reactions to Motorcyclists on the Roadway

Version 1
Date added June 6, 2010
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Category 2010 CMRSC XX Niagara
Tags Student Paper Award Winner
Author/Auteur Amanda Ohlhauser
Award/Prix Étudiant 2 Student


Motorcyclists are over-represented in crash statistics. In Canada in 2006, motorcyclists represented 7.6% of the total traffic collision fatalities and 8.7% of the total injuries, while motorcycles accounted for only 2.4% of vehicle registrations. Research has shown that most motorcycle collisions occur when the driver of another vehicle violates the right of way of the motorcyclist. The purpose of this study was to determine if drivers, who also held a motorcycle license, drove cars differently than regular drivers around motorcycles. Specifically, did previous experience riding motorcycles affect drivers’ response to a motorcycle suddenly braking? A study was conducted using a moderate-fidelity driving simulator; results show that drivers’ respond more slowly to events involving motorcyclists. Due to the late response, drivers also swerved more often around a motorcycle than a car. The implications of these results on motorcycle expectancy and conspicuity are discussed.

Amanda Ohlhauser