Investigating the interaction between helmet field of view and steering behavior in a novel motorcycle simulator

  • Morice Antoine H.P.
  • Morice Antoine
  • Sevrez Violaine
  • Gray Rob
  • Montagne Gilles

  • Helmet design
  • Motorcycle simulator
  • Motorcycle crashes
  • Negotiating curves

COMM

While helmet wearing reduces the severity of injuries in motorcycle crashes, it may also increase the likelihood of getting involved into a traffic accident through a reduction in the rider's field of view. We thus investigated the perceptual effects of helmet wearing when riding a motorcycle. The task consisted of negotiating curves in a fixed-based simulator while the helmet visor vertical dimension and need to check the handlebar-mounted speedometer were manipulated. Decreasing the vertical aperture below roughly 30 deg significantly impaired a rider's ability to maintain their lane position and speed; with the effect of aperture being significantly greater when speedometer checking was required. The present findings provide further support for near/far point models of steering and help to quantify the tradeoff between physical and perceptual effects in helmet design.