Impairment of simulated motorcycle riding performance under low dose alcohol


Crash statistics that include the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of vehicle operators reveal that crash involved motorcyclists are over represented at low BACs (e.g., ≤0.05%). This riding simulator study compared riding performance and hazard response under three low dose alcohol conditions (sober, 0.02% BAC, 0.05% BAC). Forty participants (20 novice, 20 experienced) completed simulated rides in urban and rural scenarios while responding to a safety-critical peripheral detection task (PDT). Results showed a significant increase in the standard deviation of lateral position in the urban scenario and PDT reaction time in the rural scenario under 0.05% BAC compared with zero alcohol. Participants were most likely to collide with an unexpected pedestrian in the urban scenario at 0.02% BAC, with novice participants at a greater relative risk than experienced riders. Novices chose to ride faster than experienced participants in the rural scenario regardless of BAC. Not all results were significant, emphasising the complex situation of the effects of low dose BAC on riding performance, which needs further research. The results of this simulator study provide some support for a legal BAC for motorcyclists below 0.05%.

Accident Analysis & Prevention