Motorcycle rider training and perceptions of skill
Rowden, Peter J. & Watson, Barry C. (2008) Motorcycle rider training and perceptions of skill. In Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference 2008, 9-12 November 2008, Adelaide, South Australia.
It has been argued that driver training can inadvertently result in novice driver overconfidence which may be counterproductive to the safety goals of training. A similar concern can be expressed in regard to novice motorcycle rider training. Overconfidence is posited to generate from trainees’ overestimation of their own skill levels following training, potentially contributing to risk taking once unsupervised in the traffic environment. The challenge for training practitioners is therefore to foster and reinforce skill development whilst limiting inflated trainee perceptions of their riding abilities. The aim of this paper was to examine motorcycle rider trainee (N = 244) perceived skill levels immediately before and after a pre-licence training course to gauge whether increases in confidence occurred. It was found that perceptions of skill significantly increased following training for both male and female riders. At the end of training mean scores for self-rated skill were found to be above average, suggesting a possible overconfidence effect. In addition, there was a significant increase in self-rated safe riding among both males and females. Further research is required to determine whether the increases in perceived safe riding may also reflect overconfidence or act as a protective mechanism.
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