Measuring the effect of motorcycle rider training on psychosocial influences for risk taking

Rowden, Peter J., Watson, Barry C., & Haworth, Narelle L. (2010) Measuring the effect of motorcycle rider training on psychosocial influences for risk taking. In 27th International Congress of Applied Psychology, 11-16 July 2010, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Victoria. (Unpublished)

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Aim: Whilst motorcycle rider training is commonly incorporated into licensing programs in many developed nations, little empirical support has been found in previous research to prescribe it as an effective road safety countermeasure. It has been posited that the lack of effect of motorcycle rider training on crash reduction may, in part, be due to the predominant focus on skills-based training with little attention devoted to addressing attitudes and motives that influence subsequent risky riding. However, little past research has actually endeavoured to measure attitudinal and motivational factors as a function of rider training. Accordingly, this study was undertaken to assess the effect of a commercial motorcycle rider training program on psychosocial factors that have been shown to influence risk taking by motorcyclists.

Method: Four hundred and thirty-eight motorcycle riders attending a competency-based licence training course in Brisbane, Australia, voluntarily participated in the study. A self-report questionnaire adapted from the Rider Risk Assessment Measure (RRAM) was administered to participants at the commencement of training, then again at the conclusion of training. Participants were informed of the independent nature of the research and that their responses would in no way effect their chance of obtaining a licence. To minimise potential demand characteristics, participants were instructed to seal completed questionnaires in envelopes and place them in a sealed box accessible only by the research team (i.e. not able to be viewed by instructors).

Results: Significant reductions in the propensity for thrill seeking and intentions to engage in risky riding in the next 12 months were found at the end of training. In addition, a significant increase in attitudes to safety was found.

Conclusions: These findings indicate that rider training may have a positive short-term influence on riders’ propensity for risk taking. However, such findings must be interpreted with caution in regard to the subsequent safety of riders as these factors may be subject to further influence once riders are licensed and actively engage with peers during on-road riding. This highlights a challenge for road safety education / training programs in regard to the adoption of safety practices and the need for behavioural follow-up over time to ascertain long-term effects. This study was the initial phase of an ongoing program of research into rider training and risk taking framed around Theory of Planned Behaviour concepts. A subsequent 12 month follow-up of the study participants has been undertaken with data analysis pending.

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ID Code: 51094
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Refereed: Yes
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 (please consult the author).
Deposited On: 27 Jun 2012 00:29
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2012 00:56

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