Good news for motorcycle safety in Germany: Being on the road as safely as possible is a top priority for drivers of motorized two-wheelers across Germany. There is also agreement on the safety-enhancing potential of electronic driving assistance systems. The Institute for Bicycle Safety (ifz) comes to these findings in its latest study "Motorcycle Safety in Germany: Attitudes and Behaviors with a Special Focus on Driver Assistance Systems on Motorcycles". It is also pleasing that these findings are also reflected in the trend in the number of accidents. These have declined in Germany over the decades.
Nearly 4,000 motorcyclists took part in a nationwide survey and answered an extensive catalogue of questions. The evaluation provided detailed insights into their knowledge, attitudes and behaviours on the subject of security. In doing so, an overarching insight runs through the investigation like a common thread: The pronounced safety awareness of motorcyclists not only remains in the realm of theoretical knowledge, it also serves as a guideline for their own behaviour. For example, the use of the complete motorcycle clothing is largely self-evident or the regular safety check of the motorcycle or scooter.
This theory-practice reference is particularly evident in the topic of driver assistance systems for motorcycles (FAS-M), which formed a focus of the study. The vast majority of respondents agree on the safety-enhancing potential of the systems. Moreover, more than 60 percent of motorcyclists believe that FAS-M will continue to help reduce the number of accidents in the motorised two-wheeler sector. But many also draw very practical conclusions from this: 53 percent of the respondents explicitly stated that the safety-relevant aspects had a large to very large influence in their motorcycle choice. The security components offered are therefore deliberately included in the purchase decision. The study also clears up with a cliché, namely whether the electronic helpers also lead to a riskier driving style. When directly addressed on the subject of "risk compensation", only 13 percent are tempted to take a riskier driving style because of the existence of FAS-M.
The results with regard to the FAS-M are so interesting simply because, apart from technical aspects relating to the issue, in contrast to the passenger car sector, there is so far little information for the field of motorised two-wheelers dealing with the driver.
For example, about 70 percent of motorcyclists agree with the statement that they feel more comfortable with the support of the built-in FAS-M on the motorcycle. Motorcyclists always have a greater level of knowledge when it comes to already established systems such as ABS, traction control and combination braking systems. If assistance systems are available on your own motorcycle, almost 80 percent say they know about their function and operation. However, this also leaves one fifth of which still needs to catch up. Simply take the operating instructions of the motorcycle to hand or ask the friendly motorcycle dealer around the corner, can help here. The correct handling of the systems or the expert adjustment of relevant settings can be safety-relevant in an emergency. So much for the results. In addition, the study provides many more deep insights into usage habits and competences in dealing with the helping systems, as well as their acceptance by users and "not-yet-users".
This excerpt of the main findings of the present study paints a picture of responsible road users, which has nothing in common with the reports of greater risk-taking or lack of safety awareness that sometimes appear in the media. The study is now available for download under www.ifz.de.