MSF & VTTI Partner on Long-Term Motorcycle Safety Study

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By Gary Ilminen

MSF & VTTI Partner on Long-Term Motorcycle Safety Study

MSF Long-Term Motorcycle Safety Study

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and its members have partnered with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) on the world’s first large-scale, naturalistic motorcycle riding study.

The 3.5-year motorcycle safety study began by collecting data from instruments installed on 100 motorcycles owned by study participants as the bikes were ridden in normal day-to-day use.

Sensors and video cameras recorded all motorcycle operator inputs such as steering, acceleration, braking and lean, as well as recording all motions of the motorcycle, current riding conditions and the actions of surrounding traffic.

The motorcycle instrumentation was designed to be as inconspicuous as possible, so that participant-riders would forget their rides were being monitored.

The MSF 100 Study tracked participants in Virginia, California, Florida and Arizona, and is expected to be a source of data and insight on a wide range of questions for an international array of safety professionals generally, but riders and rider safety professionals specifically.

All 100 riders on their equipped motorcycles have completed the data acquisition phase of the study, and the analysis phase is now yielding preliminary results. The early data is already being put to use in a variety of applications, for example:

  • Early MSF 100 study results of temperature and precipitation data and their effect on motorcycle riding will be reviewed at the International Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society slated to take place in Chicago on October 27 – 31.
  • Earlier this year, a presentation of preliminary mileage and riding frequency-based results was made at the 2014 Transportation Research Board Annual Conference in Washington D.C., and a paper titled, “An Exploratory Analysis of Motorcyclist Apparel Using Naturalistic Riding Data” was delivered at the 2013 International Motorcycle Safety Conference in Orlando, FL in October.

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