Hurt Report

The Hurt Report was a motorcycle safety study conducted in the United States, initiated in 1976 and published in 1981.cite web
title = Riders Need to Act to Get a New Motorcycle Crash Study
publisher = ABATE
url = http://www.abateonline.org/ABATE.aspx?PID=125
] It is named for the primary author, Dr. Hugh H. (“Harry”) Hurt, Jr. The noted author of "Proficient Motorcycling", David L. Hough, called the Hurt Report "the most comprehensive motorcycle safety study of the 20th century."

The study was initiated by the Department Of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which contracted with the University of Southern California Traffic Safety Center — the work was ultimately conducted by USC professor Harry Hurt.cite web
title = Interview With Harry Hurt
publisher = Soundrider.com
url = http://www.soundrider.com/archive/safety-skills/harry_hurt_interview.htm
]

The Hurt Report findings significantly advanced the state of knowledge of the causes of motorcycle accidents, in particular pointing out the need for more rider training. The full title of the report was "Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Volume 1: Technical Report."

Hurt later became President of the Head Protection Research Laboratory (HPRL), of Paramount, CA.

Procedure

Mr. Hurt, with a team of investigators, all motorcyclists themselves, examined every nearby motorcycle accident scene, day or night, during a twenty four month period — collecting information on over 900 accidents, interviewing 2,310 passing motorcyclists, and studying 3,600 police reports from the area of each accident.

The study took place in the entire Los Angeles basin, including nearby canyons and up to the Angeles Crest — thereby including urban as well as rural conditions, e.g., incidents of motorcycles striking animals.

Each accident was studied individually with approximately 1,000 data elements — and included taking photos, examining wreckage, measuring skid marks, and interviewing survivors. The investigators revisited each wreck site at the same time on the same day of the week that the accident had occurred along with the same weather conditions — to measure traffic and interview motorcyclists who successfully negotiated the same circumstances.

Findings

The "Hurt Report" summarized accident findings related to motorcycle crashes into 55 points, notably:

* 75% of accidents were found to involve a motorcycle and a passenger vehicle, while the remaining 25% of accidents were single motorcycle accidents.

* Single motorcycle accidents were almost entirely attributed to over-riding one's abilities: under-braking or failure to corner (run wide through a turn).

* Approximately half of all accidents involved alcohol.

* Most multi-vehicle accidents occurred when a motorist failed to yield appropriate right-of-way to a motorcyclist. The most common recurring example was a motorcyclist maintaining a straight path and an approaching vehicle making a left turn in front of, and crossing the path of, a motorcyclist.

* The report's additional findings show that the wearing of appropriate gear—specifically, helmets and durable garments—mitigates crash injuries substantially.

* Weather, road conditions, and equipment failure did not account for or contribute to a significant amount of accidents.

* The vehicle driver at fault often cites inability to recognize the oncoming motorcyclist as the cause of the accident. Bright colored garments and a properly functioning headlight are recommended to aid a rider in being more visible.

Current validity

A 1999 inverview stated that Mr. Hurt "confided that he believes the report is still basically valid."

Nonetheless, while the Hurt Report "remains the benchmark of motorcycle crash research"cite web
title = National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety
publisher = Motorcycle Safety Foundation
url = http://www.msf-usa.org/Downloads/NAMS_print.pdf
] and contained at the time of its publication factual, verifiable information, in clear scientific terms — it is outdated. In the year 2000Fact|date=August 2008, editors from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation wrote, in preparing the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety:

The National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety study cited a broad list of changes that have occurred that affect the current validity of the Hurt Report, broken into four categories:

* Motorcycle Engineering Changes
* User Population Changes
* Automobile Engineering Changes
* Roadway Environmental Changes

So while the Hurt Report is indeed dated, this does not necessarily invalidate all its findings or even its core findings — rather it highlights the need for current work to affirm or update the current state of motorcycle safety:

Future studies

In David Hough's book "Proficient Motorcycling", Dr. Hurt expressed "amazement" that no updated study has been conducted.cite web
title = AMA “Fuels the Fund”
publisher = w2trokebuzz.com, January 9, 2007
url = http://2strokebuzz.com/index.php?cat=10
] In 2005, Congress budgeted $2.8 million for a new motorcycle crash study, providing that motorcyclists, manufacturers, and other motorcycle related organizations would match that amount. The AMA committed $100,000 to the study, and continues to raise awareness and raise funds.

Work also continues on determing a global standard for collection of world-wide data on motorcycle accidents and safety, which would enable international sharing of research. Such a standard would meet OECD Methodology criteria, developed globally with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and complying with Principles of Good Laboratory Practices and national as well as international regulations) — ultimately to be adopted as a standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

References

External links

* [http://www.clarity.net/~adam/hurt-report.html The Hurt Report: Summary of Findings]


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