Psychological and social factors influencing motorcycle rider intentions and behaviour

This report documents two studies undertaken to identify and assess the psychological and social factors influencing motorcycle rider behaviour. The primary aim of the research was to develop a Rider Risk Assessment Measure (RRAM), which would act as a tool for identifying high-risk riders by assessing rider intentions and self-reported behaviour. The first study (n = 47) involved a qualitative exploration of rider perceptions utilising a focus-group methodology. This study identified six key aspects of rider behaviour considered to influence safety: motorcycle handling skills; rider awareness; riding while impaired or not; and the tendency to bend road rules, push limits, and ride at extreme speeds or perform stunts. Study two (n = 229) was survey-based and examined the psychological and social factors influencing these behaviours, utilising the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) and other relevant psychological constructs, such as sensation seeking and aggression. This study indicated that risky rider intentions were primarily influenced by attitudes and sensation seeking, while safer intentions were influenced by perceived behavioural control. While intentions significantly predicted all six types of behaviour, sensation seeking and a propensity for aggression emerged as significant predictors, particularly for the volitional risk-taking behaviours. The measures of intention and behaviour comprising the RRAM were not found to be significantly correlated with self-reported crash involvement, possibly indicating shortcomings in the measurement of crashes. However, significant correlations were found between the components of the RRAM and self-reported traffic offence involvement. While further work is required to refine and validate the RRAM, it represents a potential tool for informing and evaluating motorcycle rider safety countermeasures.

Type: Research and Analysis Report

Sub Type: Grant

Topics: Motorcycle

Publication Date: 07/08/07