Browse Publications Technical Papers 2016-01-1440

The Riding Habits and Technology Use of Aging Motorcycle Riders 2016-01-1440

While motorcycle safety frequently focuses on topics like helmet use and engineering aspects such as anti-lock braking systems, little research has investigated aging riders’ use of technologies (i.e., phones, navigation systems, etc.) or the characteristics of older riders (defined as above the age of 40) who use them. This study surveyed a convenience sample of typical motorcycle riders in the United States in order to provide an overview of the types of technologies that riders of different age groups use while riding, problems or concerns about those technologies, as well as rider demographics and riding habits. The sample included 97 riders (84 males and 13 females) between the ages of 20 and 71 years (M= 50.9, SD= 10.6) who were divided into three age groups (under 40 years, between 40 and 50 years, 50 years and older). Surveyed riders answered questions about riding experience and training, technologies they use while riding, ease and frequency of use of those technologies, issues with the technologies, as well as riding behaviors and habits. Results showed that while riding, most riders use smart phones (52%), standard radios (33%), mp3/iPods (28%), regular cell phones (26%), and navigation systems (23%). The prevalence of technology use while riding indicates that motorcycle manufacturers should be judicious when incorporating new technologies onto motorcycles and take into account rider crash data, riding behaviors, and riders’ physical and cognitive limitations, particularly considering the aging population of riders on roadways.


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