Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study MAIDS : in-depth investigations of accidents involving powered two wheelers : final report.


In these days of increasing congestion on our roads, powered two wheelers (PTWs) continue to provide a valuable contribution to mobility in Europe. Their relatively small size and low cost enable them to blend efficiently into in the traffic flow while needing less space compared to other vehicles (OVs). However, PTW riders form one of the most vulnerable groups of road users and road accidents involving injuries to them are a major social concern. It is therefore essential that all parties work together to understand and further improve the safety of this valuable mode of transport. In order to better understand the nature and causes of PTW accidents better, the Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM) with the support of the European Commission and other partners conducted an extensive in-depth study of motorcycle and moped accidents during the period 1999-2000 in five sampling areas located in France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Italy. The methodology developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) for on-scene indepth motorcycle accident investigations was used by all five research groups in order to maintain consistency in the data collected in each sampling area. A total of 921 accidents were investigated in detail, resulting in approximately 2000 variables being coded for each accident. The investigation included a full reconstruction of the accident; vehicles were inspected; witnesses to the accident were interviewed; and, subject to the applicable privacy laws, with the full cooperation and consent of both the injured person and the local authorities, pertinent medical records for the injured riders and passengers were collected. From this data, all the human, environmental and vehicle factors which contributed to the outcome of the accident were identified. To provide comparative information on riders and PTWs that were not involved in accidents in the same sample areas, data was collected in a further 923 cases. The collection technique was specifically developed to meet the circumstances of this study and is commonly referred to as an exposure or case-control study. This exposure information on non-accident involved PTW riders was essential for establishing the significance of the data collected from the accident cases and the identification of potential risk factors in PTW accidents. For example, if 20% of non-accident involved PTWs in the sampling area were red, it would be significant if 60% of those PTWs involved in an accident were reported to be red, suggesting that there is an increased risk of riding a red PTW. On the other hand, if none of the PTWs in the accident sample were red, it would an interesting finding, needing further study. The PTW accident data collected in this study indicated that the object most frequently struck in an accident was a passenger car. The second most frequently struck object was the roadway itself, either as the result of a single vehicle accident or of an attempt to avoid a collision with an OV. Whilst each sampling area contained both urban and rural areas, the majority of the accidents took place in an urban environment. Travelling and impact speeds for all PTW categories were found to be quite low, most often below 50 km/h. There were relatively few cases in which excess speed was an issue related to accident causation. The cause of the majority of PTW accidents collected in this study was found to be human error. The most frequent human error was a failure to see the PTW within the traffic environment, due to lack of driver attention, temporary view obstructions or the low conspicuity of the PTW. Once all the data had been collected, it was entered into a database for each sampling area and compared with the exposure data referred to above. Statistical analysis identified PTW accident risk factors by comparing the accident data to the exposure data. Thus, for example, the exposure data indicated that whilst scooters represented the majority of accident cases, scooters were not over-represented in accidents in comparison with their presence in the sampling area (i.e., their exposure). When the accident riders were compared to the exposure population, the data demonstrated that the use of alcohol increased the risk of being in an accident, although the percentage was lower than in other studies. Unlicenced PTW operators who were illegally riding PTWs that required a licence, were also found to be at greater risk of being involved in an accident when compared to licenced PTW riders. The data collected during this study represents the most comprehensive in-depth data currently available for PTW accidents in Europe. It is expected that this data will provide much needed information for developing develop future research in relation to public policy issues. Recommendations for future countermeasures and investigations are provided. (Author/publisher)

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C 39390 [electronic version only]

Brussels, ACEM - Association des Constructeurs Européens de Motocycle (The Motorcycle Industry in Europe), 2004, 173 p., 12 ref.

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