Motorcycle and Automobile Accidents

Motorcycles and automobiles get into accidents on a regular basis. Most of these types of accidents occur when an automobile crosses into the path of an approaching motorcycle and violates the right of way of the motorcycle.

A research study was done to study these types of right of way accidents. They looked at publications and articles in order to have a comprehensive review of the research that has been done in the past regarding right of way accidents. They looked at major databases, including the Transportation Research Information Services, Medline and Compendex.

It was felt that two major causes of these types of accidents. The major reasons why these accidents occur are the lack of motorcycle conspicuousness and the automobile driver not judging the speed and distance from them of the motorcycle.
Many studies attempted to change the physical characteristics in order to make the motorcycle more conspicuous. They also attempted to change the gap acceptance behaviors of the automobile drivers, in addition to addressing the arrival time judgments when confronting motorcycles. Some of the attempts to alter the motorcycle’s conspicuousness actually worked and work to enhance the motorists’ acceptance behaviors and arrival time judgments when confronting motorcycles also was successful.

It was most successful to change the brightness and contrast between the motorcycle and the environment rather than just making the motorcycle brighter on its own. Larger vehicles are believed to have arrived sooner than motorcycles. This might be because larger appear more threatening than the smaller motorcycle. Older drivers of automobiles have more difficulties than young people when it comes to judging the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle. Research that examines the conspicuousness on the speed and distance judgments when automobiles confront motorcycles has not become clear.

The researchers concluded that several factors go into the mechanisms of collisions between automobiles and motorcycles, many of which are related to the lack of conspicuousness of the motorcycle and physiological mechanisms that go into judging the speed and difference in distance between the motorcycle and the automobile. In an aging society and a traffic population that includes people driving more motorcycles, there needs to be more research on how these populations of people can coexist on the road without increasing the number of motor vehicles on the road.

Motorcycle accidents can also involve hitting solid objects, such as guard rails, trees, signs, and concrete barriers. Most of the time it is the motorcyclist who is at fault although an automobile can take over the right of way of a motorcyclist, causing the motorcyclist to hit a solid object. Because there are essentially two impacts in these types of accidents, the death rate is high. In fact, the death rate can be as high as 15 times as high as collisions with the ground or even collisions with moving motor vehicles.

In cases where the automobile driver tries to take over the right of way of the motorcyclist, it is better to take a hit with the motor vehicle than to hit a concrete barrier, tree or other similar stagnant object.

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