The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's cooperative agreement to offer $1.2 million in research funds has resulted in a three-year study to determine what kind of road training best prepares a rider for real-world experiences. The study involves the crash-avoidance skills of motorcyclists who have taken a series of MSF RiderCourses.
The MSF is contributing 60 percent of the total funding to the research effort, officially titled "The Longitudinal Study to Improve Crash Avoidance Skills."
The test phase of the study started March 23 at the new Discovery Rider Training Center in Long Beach, Calif. Students in the study will first complete the MSF Basic RiderCourse.
Those who pass the MSF Basic RiderCourse will be offered, via random sampling, three additional training opportunities at periodic intervals throughout the duration of the study.
The supplemental courses will include the MSF Experienced RiderCourse, plus two new courses that will be introduced as part of the MSF's Rider Education and Training System curricula in 2007: the Rider Perception Module and the Skill Enhancement RiderCourse.
Finally, using evaluations of rider knowledge, skills, attitudes and experiences over time, the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center will provide an independent evaluation of research that will, for the first time, take a comprehensive, field-based look at the benefits of ongoing participation in a rider education and training system, and its subsequent effect on crash avoidance skills and real-world outcomes.
"This research on the benefits of rider training may yield results that could very well be used as a guide for future rider education and training initiatives," says Dean Thompson, MSF director of communications. "It could have long-range impact by helping the entire safety community chart a course that can help reduce the number of motorcycle crashes."
"The MSF's rider education and training system used in this study is built upon the principle of safety training renewal," explains Thompson. "We believe a rider's decision-making and crash-avoidance skills can benefit from being refreshed over time." — Guido Ebert