Read the October 2001 report “Fatal Single Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes” (DOT HS 809 360) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); a study recently conducted on motorcycle accidents and safety (.pdf); here’s a summary of the report | Increasing fatality rate for motorcyclists over age 30?This article explains the reason — there are now more motorcyclists over age 30, so the statistics show that when there are more motorcyclists of a given age group on the road — no matter what that age group — more accidents come out of that group
“Protective Equipment for Riders” (.pdf) by ACEM (Europe) describes clothing that should be worn for motorcycling and has some information reported from the MAIDS study on which types of clothing offer the most protection.
The European MAIDS study (Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study) is “the most comprehensive in-depth data currently available for Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs) accidents in Europe. The investigation was conducted during 3 years on 921 accidents from 5 countries using a common research methodology”. Available in English and French; to access the French version, click on “FAQ”, then “Download” (Registration required but the reports are free)
European Handbook on Good Practices in Safety for Motorcyclists (.pdf) is a summary of the analysis as it applies to the EU (go to page 41 of this .pdf file for the summary section on the rationale for mandatory ABS). Includes safety features currently being studied in Europe; e.g. active safety features and information and warning systems for riders.
Motorcycle crash-related injuries occurred mostly in urban areas with a 50 km/h speed limit (66%).
Most crashes occurred during the day (63%) and in good weather (72%).
Riders wearing reflective or fluorescent clothing had a 37% lower risk than other riders.
Compared with wearing a black helmet, use of a white helmet was associated with a 24% lower risk.
Self reported light colored helmet versus dark colored helmet was associated with a 19% lower risk.
75% of motorcycle riders had their headlight turned on during the day, and this was associated with a 27% lower risk.
No association occurred between risk and the frontal color of riders’ clothing or motorcycle color.
The risks are 33% for wearing no reflective or fluorescent clothing, 18% for a non-white helmet, 11% for a dark colored helmet, and 7% for no daytime headlight operation.
Conclusions: Low conspicuity may increase the risk of motorcycle crash related injury. Increasing the use of reflective or fluorescent clothing, white or light colored helmets, and daytime headlights are simple, cheap interventions that could considerably reduce motorcycle crash related injury and death.
Personal Protective Equipment and Clothing Standards
Here are the U.S. regulations for headlight modulators (they are legal in all 50 states); this is Official U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Governing Motorcycle Headlight Modulators – FMVSS 108 (Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards) (49 CFR Part 571.108 S7.9.4) allows motorcycle headlight modulations systems all 50 states provided they comply with the standards set forth in this section. Title 49 USC 30103(b1) (US Codes) prohibits any state from forbidding a system that conforms to FMVSS 108 | Here’s a handy small one-page version to keep on your bike in case you get stopped by the Police | “Motorcyclists who are conspicuous are under-represented in crashes”; read more from NHTSA
Got a new design you think will protect riders? Get it tested at Biokinetics | ASTM Standards for clothing wear and abrasion | The Snell Foundation has information comparing Snell and DOT standards; helmet FAQ’s; testing requirements; lists of certified helmets and more
Here’s a good safety video from the UK called “Think”. Although the message is for automobile drivers and not motorcyclists, it’s a good video and I wish we had a campaign like this in the U.S.A. for driver awareness.
Video: “Think” (UK)
Police Motorcycle Equipment
Squadfitters carries all sorts of LED and strobe lighting, power supplies and other equipment for motorcycles | Silverman’s in the U.K. are suppliers of gear to British Police and Military for over 50 years – leathers, boots hi-viz and more