The key issues identified for road environment safety are:
- Road fixtures and furniture may create crash and injury risks for motorcyclists.
- Maintenance and upgrading practices may create crash and injury risks for motorcyclists.
- The designers of new roads are not required to consider the specific vulnerabilities of motorcyclists.
- Crash records are not used systematically to monitor and guide road maintenance practices.
The MCC objectives for Safer Roads are to:
Reduce the incidence and severity of single vehicle motorcycle crashes.
To ensure motorcycle safety is accommodated in the design and maintenance of roads and the road environment.
- To ensure motorcycles are recognised as a growing and distinct mode of transport in all road planning and road safety programs.
Every motorcyclist knows that road conditions that are no problem for a car, can be dangerous traps for a motorcycle. Non-motorcyclists are less likely to understand this and few road engineers appear to appreciate the handling characteristics of motorcycles.
Forty percent of motorcycle crashes are single vehicle crashes. It is often assumed that such crashes are due to excessive speed, but poor road design and surface condition also play a part. As a part of the strategic planning process, we undertook a review of NSW crash data. We found that road surface hazards such as loose gravel on a sealed surface were a contributing factor in 21% of single vehicle motorcycle crashes.
- Road authorities need to be made aware of the dangers for motorcyclists that are created by the poor design and maintenance of roads.
- Motorcyclists need to develop their skills to read the road surface, to anticipate, avoid or control loss of traction.
- All motorcyclists can help to improve the roads in their local area by working with their local road authorities.
This subject is covered in depth on the MCC Motorcycle Safety website