The effect of ambient light level on road traffic collisions (RTCs) involving a motorcycle was investigated. Data were drawn from the STATS19 database of UK reported RTCs for the period 2005-2015. To isolate the effect of ambient light (daylight vs darkness) an odds ratio was used to compare RTCs at specific times of day in the weeks either side of the Spring and Autumn clock changes. This work extended previous studies by using a more precise method for distinguishing between RTCs in daylight and after dark, thus avoiding the ambiguity of twilight. Data for four-wheel motor vehicle (FWMV) RTCs were also investigated to provide a datum. As expected, the risk of an RTC occurring was significantly higher after dark compared to daylight for both motorcycles and FWMVs. Investigation of contextual factors suggests that risk after dark is significantly higher for motorcycles compared to FWMVs for RTCs with two-vehicles, on roads with low speed limits (≤30 mph), at T-junctions, and junctions controlled by a give way sign. These are the situations where visual aids for increasing conspicuity after dark have the greater potential for reducing motorcycle RTCs.
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