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Motorcycle Safety

Motorcycle Training and Track Days

List of motorcycle training resources, track days, motorcycle training in the U.S.A. and supervised training for beginning and advanced motorcyclists

Motorcycle Riding Skills and Techniques

Ruminations on motorcycle clothing safety standards  |  ACU five star motorcycle helmet safety standard to replace ACU Gold sticker; will combine Snell and ECE 22.05 standards  | wBW review of the Safe Lites BeaconWear lighted safety vest with “GlowSkin electroluminescent technology  |  Information on the Alternate Motorcycle Operator Skills Test with information and course diagrams  |  Information on the Advanced Motorcycle Training school in the U.K. – the techniques apply whichever side of the road you ride!  |  Read a book and learn about motorcycle riding skills and advanced motorcycle riding techniques!  |  Patterns for laying out cones for rider training from the Alameda County (California) Sheriff’s Office

Motorcycle Safety News

New Snell M2015 Safety Standard Details  |  Definition of a Motorcycle Revised  |  New DOT helmet labeling rule announced  |  Motorcycle fatalities drop slightly in 2010  |  Study: Motorcycle Helmets Reduce Spine Injuries After Collisions  |  2010 IIHS Reports: ABS saves lives; motorcycle training does not reduce crash rate; more.  |  Useful new Guide to Protective Equipment for Motorcycle Riders  |  MAIDS 2.0 motorcycle accident study released  |  2007 Worldwide Vehicle Accident Statistics  |  University of Missouri Study Finds Fatality Rates Increase with Repeal of Helmet Laws  |  Archived Motorcycle Safety News:  Now on the wBW Motorcycle Safety News Archive page

Motorcycle Accidents

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

Motorcycle Accident Scene Investigation

Accident Scene Management, Inc. offers the Bystander Assistance Program class

Motorcycle Safety Papers & Studies

ABS and Traction Control for Motorcycles

White Helmets, Safety and Rider Visibility
  • The Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Crash Related Injury study conducted over 3 years in New Zealand (1993-1996) found that:
  • 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

Forcefield Pro Sub 4 (review) is the first back protector in the world to transmit less than 4 kN, which is less than half the Level 2 standard!  |  Interesting interactive graphic from the Motorcycle Council of NSW (AU) shows which parts of your body are most at risk in a crash with a mouse rollover  |  UK motorcycle personal protective equipment standards from the British Motorcyclists Federation  |  Recommendations for motorcycle clothing from the Motorcycle Council of New South Wales, Australia  |  Motorcycle helmet compliance and testing (FMVSS 218) from the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT)  |  Foam and helmet studies and standards  |  Motorcycle Helmet Effectiveness Revsited – .pdf file study by the U.S. DOT National Center for Statistics and Analysis  | COST 327 an older study “to establish the distribution and severity of injuries experienced by motorcyclists, focusing on the head and neck; to determine the most significant injuries and injury mechanisms; establish the tolerance of the human head, brain and neck to these injuries and injury mechanisms; use the overall findings to propose a specification for future testing of motorcycle helmets in Europe”  |  “A Buyers Guide to Motorcyclists Protective Clothing and the CE Mark” recommendations on clothing and gear  |  Viscotec protective wear for motorcyclists  |  Body and Shoulder Protector Standards Explained  |  Zylon stitching degradation report; Zylon is used as stitching in some high-end motorcycle gloves  | Motorcycle Safety Info has lots of information on safe riding and choosing motorcycle clothing and accessories

CE Approved Equipment Information

Motorcyclists’ Personal Protective Equipment – The History of Benefits and Standards (.pdf paper by Paul Varnsverry, presented at a U.S. NTSB forum)and associated Power Point presentation, also in .pdf format  |  Also see PVA Technical File Services, Ltd., which has an explanation of CE testing, history, and implications  |

Headlight Modulator Regulations

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

Headlight Modulators in Canada

Here’s a copy of the Official Canadian code of regulations covering headlight modulators; taken from Technical Standards Document No. 108, Revision 3, Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment of Transport Canada  |  Also see information about the Canada Safety Council Motorcycle Training Program

UK – European Highway Code

Here’s the official UK Highway Code that explains all of the laws regarding road travel  |  FIM official rules for motorcycle racing

Motorcycle Helmet and Clothing Testing

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

Motorcycle Helmet Safety Compliance Testing

Here are the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety testing compliance pass/fail and recall reports for the years 2000 to 2006.  Some very interesting helmets have failed testing…  |  NHTSA recalls, investigations and complaints database, updated every night.  Note: Includes much more than just motorcycle safety related recalls  |  Here’s the U.S. DOT Safety Testing Procedures (Laboratory Test Procedures for FMVSS 218) for motorcycle helmets (.pdf file)  |  Motorcycle Helmet Test Headform and Test Apparatus Comparison (.pdf) from the NHTSA  |  Summary of Novelty Helmet Testing (.pdf) from NHTSA

Motorcycle Visibility – Reflective Vests

ICU – UCME (U.K.) specializes in reflective vests, reflective tape and more; they have the U.K. Police style reflective vests.  See the wBW review of the BikeSeen reflective jacket and reflective motorcycle backpack  |  See the wBW review of the PolyBrite LED lighted safety vest  | BikerHiway specializes in motorcycle visibility products such as vests, lighting, headlight modulators and more  |  Occunomix makes many different types of reflective vests and coats with ANSI-spec fluorescent yellow and/or orange  |  Met Vest  |  Great selection of high-viz vests and belts at Safetyline  |  High-viz harness designed for motorcyclists available at Whitehorse Press  |  Glo-flex retro-reflective tape can be used on clothing or on your bike and it also glows in the dark! It’s available at The Safety Store  |  Bright flashing LED reflective jackets at LEDware (UK)  |  Vision Reflective Vests appear to be very well made in the U.S.A.  |  The Glo Glov is a unique, high visibility glove that can be worn alone or over some  motorcycle gloves  |  Vision Reflective Vests are made one at a time by motorcyclists  |  Cycle C jackets look normal during the day but light up at night with reflected light  |  Safety or Survival sells Conspicuity reflective vests  |  Ride Safer sells reflective tape “suspenders”, reflective vests and stickers  |  Seebak reflective safety vests are used by motorcyclists and police  |  Safelites vests use “Glowskin” to increase visibility; see the wBW review of the Safelites BeaconWear vest

Motorcycle Stickers and Decals

Mickeyjojo Motorcycle Awareness Products has “Watch for Motorcycles” bumper stickers and more  |  More on the wBW Motorcycle Stickers and Decals page

Motorcycle Visibility Articles

Brief article comparing visibility of different clothing and helmet colors  |  Kyle’s Motorcycle Safetywebsite has information on motorcycle traffic laws in the state of Washington, motorcycle accident statistics and other safety related articles

Motorcycle Safety Video

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

Motorcycle Helmets

Information on motorcycle helmets, helmet reviews, safety studies and more on the wBWMotorcycle Helmet page  |  Information on the ECE 22.05 motorcycle helmet safety standard  |  Test data results for some helmets tested by the U.S. DOT  |  Snell list of approved helmets available on the Snell site  |  The Helmet Harbor has a nice comparison of Snell, DOT, BSI and ECE helmet safety standards

Master Listing of All wBW Motorcycle Product Reviews

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