Conditions for speeding behaviour: A comparison of car drivers and powered two wheeled riders

Against a UK background of decreases in collisions involving car drivers, motorcycle collisions are on the increase. To throw light on this process, this paper explores differences between motorcyclists and car drivers in the conditions for speeding behavior. Some predictions derived from the model of Task-difficulty Homeostasis (TDH) were tested using self-report data from samples of older (>35 years), male car drivers (n = 269) and motorcyclists (n = 102). As predicted, riders were more likely to speed on rural roads and less likely to speed on urban roads, and, riders were much more likely to speed in daytime than at night. Riding a motorcycle offers opportunities for expressive use of the vehicle and riders are more likely to say they really enjoy riding fast. However amongst older riders this behavior appears to be largely confined to daytime riding on rural roads. Compared with cars, motorcycles provide more of an opportunity to maneuver around obstacles in controlling task demand, rather than using speed as the primary controlling variable. Although this provides more options for the rider, it carries with it vulnerability to loss of control from variation in road surface adhesion and maintaining too high a speed.


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  • Accession Number: 01144679
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Oct 28 2009 12:39PM