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Motorcycle Crash Study resources
Here is our collection of information on the Crash Causation Study. We keep the blog updated with the latest information. You can sign up for an Atom feed there.
We added contacts for some of the organizations involved, and information on how to find your Congress reps and state safety officers. You can cut and paste anything on this site to use on your site or forum.
New: we put in a Freedom of Information Act request and got a copy of the Pilot Study contract documents. See ourPilot Study page and timeline, with a downloadable pdf of the FOIA information packet.
- Download a Rich Text Format version of the petition form so you can edit it and make a customized petition for your group
- Information about the Study from Bikesafer.com
- Reference list of previous official study releases
- Blogs and forums discussing the study
- News articles about the study
- List of contact information for study stakeholders
- Study sub-contractors - the snouts at the trough
- Friends of the Study
- Previous statements from the study stakeholders on the 900-sample question.
Remember that the stakeholders are friends of bikers who have done a lot of work to get the study to the point it's at. Please treat them as you would any fellow biker, and be nice. And tell your friends.
- Our page on the crash causation study and crash information in general.
- We update our blog series on study news and events most frequently
- bikesafer blog entry on the study researchers and how they handle the helmet law issue, and possible speed regulation issues.
- bikesafer blog entry on comparing the project costs with similar studies
- bikesafer blog entry on ET's visit to the Dynamic Science offices in Phoenix, where he met the legendary Ralph Rockow
- bikesafer blog entry on the effect of MSF's move on the overall negotiations around the study
- Our review of the OECD methodology for bike crash causation studies.
- Crash Causation Study FAQ
- Results of our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the Westat pilot study contract with NHTSA.
NEW: Our Crash Causation Study FAQ: Frequently-asked questions about the new OSU study.
- DOT/FHA news release announcing the study, Oct 5th 2009
- AMA statement, October 11th
- MSF statement, undated but posted somewhere around Oct 12th
- Motorcycle Riders Foundation statement, October 22nd
- MSF announces funding for the Virginia Tech 'Naturalistic Motorcycle Crash Study', March 31st 2010.
- Westat performed the pilot study and other work under contract DTNH22-05-C-05079 to NHTSA. We obtained a copy of the contract documents under a Freedom of Information Act request.See Study Timeline.
- msgroup.org thread
- Goldiron blog
- Safetyresearch.net blog item, with info on researchers and pork
- we'll add more via our blog when we find them
- LA Times, October 14th
- Roadracingworld.com, October 12th
- ClutchandChrome.com, October 16th
- Examiner.com on the 900 number issue, November 6th
- Examiner.com on MSF's decision not being final.
- The Feds contact point for the study is the Federal Highway Administration.
- The public funding is $2M from the highway reauthorization bill, see House the Transportation, Ways and Means and Appropriations. Look up the House and Senate Reps here.
- $500K from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration,
- $560K from pooled study funds from six state DOTs, from New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas and Wisconsin. There's a contact list for state motorcycle safety administrators here, courtesy of the National Association of State Motorcycle Administrators. Six states have contributed, so there are 44 that haven't. You could also contact your state reps about this.
- $100K from the American Motorcyclist Assn, These guys are great, they lobbied congress and were also instrumental in persuading the state DOT's to pitch in. They are the unsung heroes here.
- $27,000 collected by AMA in its fundraising drive.
- The withheld MSF-controlled funds include $2.8M and 300K from equipment manufacturers.
- Oklahoma State University Transportation Center. The Dean of Research there is Dr. Alan Tree, and the Principal Investigator is Dr. Samir Ahmed, (more here) a civil engineering professor. You could find them in the Staff Directory if you wished.
The study funding, currently, $3,187,000 from public and AMA funds, is split up with about 20% being kept by OSU as is customary with grant income in third level institutions. This is to pay part of the salary of the staff researchers and general overhead. We estimate this amount as approximately $640,000.
The per-crash variable cost for the pilot study has been between $8000 and $9000 per crash. This money has been split between the following:
- Dynamic Science of Phoenix, has the contract to do the accident data collection. They have three researchers who worked in the pilot study, which studied 53 crashes in Southern California, and are expected to do the rest of the work for the remaining 247 crashes whose study is currently funded. The payment amounts in the contract are secret but our enquiries in the industry suggest that the Dynamic Science researchers are charged at rates between just under $100 per hour to over $150 per hour. We would estimate that the charge to the study for putting the three researchers on a case are well in excess of $300 per hour. Christopher Toale, the president of Dynamic Science, refuses to comment, so this is our best estimate. The company won a competitive bid process to get the work, studied more crashes than expected during the pilot, and we don't currently think that they are responsible for the apparent out-of-controlstudy costs.
- Westat is a business which organizes research projects. They were hired to administer the pilot project and are considered likely to perform the same role in the main study. We don't know how much they get paid for the administrative role, but they were paid $994,201 in 2006 for crash data collection training, systems development, crash data collection, QA costs, consultants and admin. The administrative role they are doing should be doing by OSU for their 20% cut of the study money, and it also duplicates some of what Dynamic Science is doing.
We list here study stakeholders and other authorities who have specified that the 900 minimum study sample is needed.
- FHWA, the project sponsoring agency, and Carol Tan, the project point person, in this Pooled Fund solicitation from 2008.
- MSF, in their October statement.
- The Hurt study, 900 crashes
- The Maids study, 921 crashes
- Dr. Ahmed, the OSU Principal Administrator, in a July 2007 LA Times article: "900 is the least we consider adequate from a statistical point of view." Dr Ahmed is now feverishly trying to prove statistically that 300 is OK. Of course, this is not a statistical issue, as we don't know which measures will pass the 'chi-squared' test in advance.
- MotorcycleSafetyNews.com on the 900 'bare minimum' crash sample, Feb 26th
- Safetynet.com quoting 'OSU researchers' that the study 'should exceed 900 crashes', Feb 1st.