'Black hole of evidence' for motorcycle rider training
10 December 2010
A review by experts from Sydney-based The George Institute for Global Health has revealed a startling lack of evidence of whether pre- and post-licence training is effective in reducing death and serious injury for motorcycle riders.
Researchers from The George Institute analysed over 23 studies conducted from 1975 to the present day publishing their findings in The Cochrane Library. The review found that no clear evidence exists around the world for what type of motorcycle rider training is most effective in reducing accidents.
The researchers reviewed previous research studies that examined the effectiveness of both pre and post licence training across the world. They found that while compulsory pre-licence training may act as a deterrent to motorcyclists getting their licence, the level of evidence to assess motorcycle training effectiveness was so poor that they were unable to say what type of training is best.
Associate Professor Rebecca Ivers, Director of Injury at The George Institute said, "It's of significant concern that there is such a black hole of evidence when it comes to assessing what works and what doesn't work when it comes to motorcycle rider training. The clear result of our review is that there is a serious lack of evidence across much of the world to assess the effectiveness of pre- or post-licence motorcycle training. Our message for policy makers is that they should rigorously evaluate any new or existing rider training programmes so they can measure their effectiveness based on evidence rather than conjecture."
Only 4.5 percent of Australian vehicle registrations are for motorcycles, however they account for 15 percent of all road deaths. Motorcyclists in Australia have by far the highest rate of 1430 serious injury cases per 100,000 registered vehicles. This was more than 10 times the rate for car occupants 142 cases per 100,000 registered vehicles.
"Road traffic death and serious injury of motorcycle riders is a critical issue for policymakers across the globe," continued Associate Professor Ivers. "This is especially the case in low-and-middle income countries like India, China and Vietnam where use of motorcycles is high. Death and serious injury rates from road traffic accidents are predicted to rise by up to 80 percent by 2020 in these countries. Road traffic injuries are heading towards becoming the third leading killer of people in the world if action is not taken now to prevent this," she concluded. Associate Professor Rebecca Ivers is currently leading an evaluation of a motorcycle rider coaching program being run in Victoria which will go some way to addressing the gap in evidence in this area.
Media enquiries: Robert Gunning, The George Institute for Global Health, 8238 2424, 0410 411 983, email@example.com