So you think you are a good rider because you have a “full licence”

“For the 5 most common errors, it was found that full driving licence holders made more errors than probationary licence holders.”

Research from Monash University in Victoria demonstrates just how many little mistakes we make on an average trip (presented at the 2010 Australasian Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference*).  It is human nature to think we are either good, great or fantastic riders. It is also human nature to make a lot of little mistakes – and a few big ones.
You might think little mistakes are not really a problem. Think again – crashes are the result of a number of little mistakes all happening in the right sequence. If you can avoid one of the mistakes then you break the sequence and avoid being involved in the crash.  The aviation industry calls this the “chain of errors”.

You might justify disregarding this research because it examined drivers and not riders. Well, drivers are people just like riders. And when we drive we are “drivers” – we all make the same mistakes.

The 25 participants tested made a total of 298 errors during the on-road study and on average made almost 12 errors per trip.   The most common error made was speeding violations in which participants either intentionally or unintentionally exceeded the speed limit. These represented almost a third of all of the errors made by participants.

The next most common errors were:
• Entering the wrong lane after a turn (16.44% of all errors made)
• Failing to indicate when changing lane (8.39%),
• Activating the indicator too early (5.03%)
• Travelling too fast for a turn (4.70%).

The errors made were also compared across the participants who held a full driving licence and those who held a Victorian probationary (P2) licence.

For the 5 most common errors, it was found that full driving licence holders made more of the following errors than probationary licence holders did during the study:
• Speeding violations (59 compared to 36),
• Turn into wrong lane errors (28 compared to 21),
• Travelling too fast for a turn errors (10 compared to 4)
• Failure to indicate (13 compared to 12)
• Indicating too early (9 compared to 6).

By the way, avoiding mistakes also reduces the chances of receiving a Police fine.

*To err (on the road) is human? An on-road study of driver errors
Paul M. Salmon*, Kristie Young, Michael G. Lenné, Amy Williamson & Nebojsa Tomesevic
Human Factors Group, Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC),
Building 70, Clayton Campus, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia