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Motorcyclist's lane position as a factor in right-of-way violation collisions: A driving simulator study

Accident Analysis & Prevention
DOI: 10.1016/j.aap.2014.07.012
  • Motorcycle Safety
  • Lane Position
  • Gap Acceptance


Abstract A driver turning left and failing to notice an oncoming motorcyclist until too late is the most common cause of motorcycle collisions. Consequently, much previous research has focused on motorcycle properties, such as size, shape, and color to explain its inconspicuousness. However, collision statistics remain largely unchanged, suggesting that the issue may not be related solely to the motorcycle's static properties. In the present study, we examined a different characteristic of the motorcycle, namely its trajectory of approach. Seventeen participants faced oncoming traffic in a high-fidelity driving simulator and indicated when gaps were safe enough for them to turn left at an intersection. We manipulated the size of the gaps and the type of oncoming vehicle over 135 trials, with gap sizes varying from 3 to 5s, and vehicles consisting of either a car, a motorcycle in the left-of-lane position, or a motorcycle in the right-of-lane position. Our results show that drivers are more likely to turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle when it travels in the left-of-lane position than when it travels in the right-of-lane position.

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