Indepth study of 39 fatal motorcycle collisions in Northern Ireland (U.K.) between 2004 and 2010

Unfall-Tiefenstudie ueber 39 toedliche Motorradkollisionen in Nordirland (U.K.) zwischen 2004 und 2010

The n.39 case studies analysed in this report are a representative sample of motorcycle fatalities in Northern Ireland between 2004 and 2010. The report contains an analysis of the collisions investigated and includes information relating to vehicle data, the collision scene and the environment as well as human factors. Overall, n.41 motorcyclists were fatality injured. The evidence provided in this report indicates that each road traffic collision is unique but that in all cases the time frame from the perceived hazard to the conclusion of the impact either with another vehicle or with road infrastructure was typically between 2 and 3 seconds. Information from the case studies indicates that the conditions for riding were generally optimal and during daylight. In 63.4% of cases, (n.26/n.41) motorcyclists applied their brakes prior to the collision and n.18 (43.9%) applied their brakes severely. Of the n.17 (41.4%) motorcycles that slid after falling, n.10 (24.4%) fell onto their right side and the remaining n.7 (17.1%) fell onto their left side. There were two cases identified where Antilock Braking Systems (ABS) may have made a difference to the outcome of the collision, both were on a straight section of road. At this point in time, the application of ABS on motorcycles is limited to straight sections of the road. Of the n.39 cases analysed, there were n.17 cases (43.6%) in which another vehicle was considered the primary cause of the collision. In thirteen of these cases (76.5%), the evidence highlighted that the motorcycle’s lights were switched on and therefore the other vehicle driver was in a position to see them. However, there appears to be a problem of looking but not seeing which may be due to the size of the motorcycle or simply because the car/van driver is expecting to see another car or van and has difficulty coping with the unexpected. There also appears to be an issue with the visibility from the cab of trucks to see the dipped beam of the motorcycle, which appears to be limited due to the height of the truck, this may have an effect on the perception of the oncoming motorcycle. There were four cases (10.3%) of speeding, but in all cases, the actions of the other vehicle driver recipitated the collision. Equally there were four known cases (10.3%) in which the rider had levels of alcohol over the legal limit and or drugs in their blood. Three of these collisions were single vehicle (no other vehicle involved) and the fourth ran a red light through an intersection with no headlights on and impacted a car crossing the intersection. There were n.9 cases (23%) in which the motorcyclists involved in a collision were either riding in a group or with another motorcyclist. In all these cases the total number of motorcyclists killed was n.11/n.41 (26.8%). A focus group discussed the relevance of technology on vehicles as a deterrent to collisions as well as the advantages of teaching hazard perception and anticipation in initial and advanced training as a defence against potential collisions. The consensus was that while technology may in some cases be beneficial, good training was more important. However, the availability, image and cost of advanced training seemed to be a barrier to getting more riders involved. Awareness campaigns were considered useful, but there is no method to measure their efficacy. However the consensus was that different avenues should be used to get the safety message out to the target audience, such as using the internet, social media, race meetings and specific road signage. According to the participants of the focus group, the best solution to avoid road traffic collisions is anticipation and hazard awareness. The consensus was that the only reliable way to prevent motorcyclist injuries and deaths is to prevent the collision in the first place, which means the rider needs to get his/her eyes up and scanning ahead, taking evasive action when a potential collision is still several seconds from happening. (A)


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Illustrations; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 228-64
  • Monograph Title: Sicherheit - Umwelt - Zukunft. Tagungsband der 9. Internationalen Motorradkonferenz 2012, 1. und 2. Oktober 2012, Koeln
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532842
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (BASt)
  • ISBN: 978-3-923994-20-5
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Aug 7 2014 9:12AM