Accident risks of motorcyclists

Together with the TU Dresden and the TU Berlin an interdisciplinary research project was conducted from July 2006 until February 2008. The aim of the project was to analyse the safety situation of powered two wheelers (PTW) in Germany. Based on the accident data of the insurance companies, an in-depth analysis was carried out. In addition to technical factors relating to the motorcycle, infrastructural factors like alignment and curviness were assessed for their impact on injury severity based on accident files from Saxony. Furthermore, a survey leading to more than 6800 responses was conducted, to correlate individual styles of driving, technical attributes and the injuries suffered in an accident.

The relevant accident scenarios were determined and characterised. In addition the analysis shows the necessity of separate lanes and traffic light phases for left turns as well as PTW-friendly safety barriers. As far as vehicles are concerned the anti-lock brake system (ABS) could prove to be the most effective technical measure. Additionally the influence of the mass power ratio on injury severity could be identified. This basically means that  drivers of high-powered, low weight motorcycles receive significantly more severe injuries than drivers of heavy and low-powered motorcycles. The former are also over-
represented in traffic offences like speeding or short following distances.