2021 Research Project

A Safe Systems approach to motorcycle safety

Principal Investigator
Eric Dumbaugh
Florida Atlantic University
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Co-Principal Investigator
Asad Khattak
University of Tennessee, Knoxville 
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This study seeks to examine motorcycle safety from a Safe Systems perspective, paying specific attention to how “upstream” planning and policy decisions influence safety outcomes. In so doing, it fills a major gap in both our broader understanding of motorcycle safety, but also a major gap in the specific suite of research undertaken by CSCRS. A major finding from R3: Implementing Safe Systems, is that the meaningful development of a Safe Systems approach to road safety needs to identify the manner in which the designers of the transportation system are responsible for the creation of latent errors, which are errors that occur when the design of the built environment results in otherwise preventable patterns of behavior that result in traffic-related injuries and deaths.
The application of Safe Systems concepts into the arena of motorcycle safety fills a major gap in both the broader CSCRS research program, as well as the professional understanding of motorcycle safety more broadly. This effort will be the first to examine motorcycles from the four dimensions that comprise Safe Systems, providing a synthetic review that interprets the existing literature in light of Safe Systems principles, and applying them to an empirical examination of the incidence of motorcycle crashes to the South Florida Metropolitan Area.
The results of this effort are not only relevant to transportation professionals throughout the United States, but fill a major gap in the global application of Safe Systems as well, particularly in developing countries where motorcycles are the dominant mode of motorized transportation. Given the comprehensive nature of this study, which combines a novel application of the existing literature with an analysis of crash incidence in three states, the results promise to serve as a defining work on a critical dimension of safety.

Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Active
Start Date: 5/01/2021
End Date: 5/01/2022
Contract Year: Year 5
Total Funding from CSCRS: $104,164