This week’s newsletter is mostly about research into road safety and saving money. Road safety research affects all road users, so it’s important for an advanced rider to understand what it does and does not tell us about human behaviour, social norms and the structure of the riding environment. Starting with the ‘Shiny Side Up’ road safety campaign. They wanted to know if their ‘Know The Dangers’ when riding campaign, helped riders and others to remember and understand their social media messages. It did. At least according to an independent research evaluation of effectiveness in getting social media users to remember them. Quite an achievement.
Another piece of research reported this week is that 20mph limits have little or no impact on collisions and casualties in city centres. The only time there was a reduction was when there was less traffic! Other factors may also have played a role in the lack of effectiveness of this change in road use.
Yet another piece of research suggests that four lane, so-called ‘Smart Motorways’, are safer than ordinary four lane motorways. It measured the number of casualties per mile travelled. It’s not the number of miles travelled that is important here, but whether stopping in a live lane is inherently more risky than stopping on a hard shoulder.
Let’s move on to something close to our hearts and wallets, the fuel in our tanks. An experimental study comparing E5 and E10 sought to find out if the UK Government’s assertion that increasing the amount of ethanol in fuel would have no detrimental effects on the vehicle components. The researcher concluded that E10 fuel could damage parts in a vehicle’s system. However, the experiment was conducted by using new vehicle parts and soaking them in various grades of fuel. This kind of research really needs to be done on parts used within the vehicle’s system during normal functioning. Leaving any vehicle’s parts in a corrosive substance for any length of time will inevitably result in damage to them. A self-fulfilling prophecy! However, everything in motorcycling is costing more, so you can read the discussion on whether motorcyclists are being priced off the road?
Finally, to end on a more helpful note, at this year’s Motorcycle Live at the NEC, BikeSafe are offering £5 off their courses and IAM RoadSmart is offering 15% off of all its courses. Now that is money well spent! Happy reading.
PS: Don’t forget to put the SAM CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY in your diary. We’ll have a lot of fun!