EVALUATION OF HEAD CHECK BEHAVIOR OF MOTORCYCLISTS DURING MERGING IN TRAFFIC – OBSERVATIONAL STUDY
Author: Muhamad Hafiz ZABIDI, Ammar ADNAN, Radin Zaid RADIN UMAR, Siby SAMUEL, Mohd Hanafi ANI, Malek HAMID
Abstract:Improper riding behavior is one of the leading contributors for road crashes. Not wearing helmet, speeding, riding during fatigue and sleepy, and improper procedure during merging in traffic are among the poor behaviors of motorcyclists. For this study, improper merging behavior is the focus. The objectives of the study are: (i) to evaluate motorcyclists head check behavior during merging in traffic; (ii) to evaluate the differences of motorcyclists head check behavior during merging in traffic with different environments – highway and town (with and without U-turn situations). A naturalistic observation study was done where 1091 motorcyclists were observed at eight locations (scenarios) – four of highway road environment, two of town with U-turn environment, and two of town without U-turn environment. The dependent variable is the percentage of head checks. If a motorcyclist performs head check towards the target zone (the area in which the potential hazard may merge – at the entering road) while in the launch zone (the area where a motorcyclist should turn his or her head to the target zone – on the leaving road), he or she was scored one, else he or she was scored zero. It was found that, in overall, the percentage of motorcyclists who performed the head check (39.9%) is less than those who did not performed the head check (60.1%) – p ≤ 0.001. In term of the type of the road environment, similar results were found for the merging with highway environment (29.4% performed head check) and town without U-turn environment (31.4% performed head check). In contrast, for the merging with town with U-turn environment, the opposite result was found (75.7% performed head check). These differences were significant with p ≤ 0.001. This study provides prevalence information about Malaysian motorcyclists’ behavior in general and, more particularly, their behavior on the head check during merging in traffic. The findings shall recommend for an improvement to the current Malaysia riding/driving education system and road users awareness program in which may decrease the road crashes.
Keywords: Motorcyclists Behavior, Head Check, Merging, Highway and Town, Observational Study