Motorcyclist Impacts into Roadside Barriers: Is the European Crash Test Standard Comprehensive Enough?

This paper reports on a study that reviewed the European Standard EN 1317-8 for motorists crashing into barriers and the relevance to Australian motorcycle fatalities. The data collection and analysis of 78 Australian motorcyclist-into-barrier fatalities described here were used to justify the review. In Australia each year approximately 15 motorcyclists die from striking a road safety barrier. A retrospective analysis of the fatalities during 2001 to 2006 (n = 78) was carried out. Consistent with European findings, approximately half the motorcyclists were in the upright posture when they struck the barrier, whereas half slid into the barrier. The mean precrash speed was 100.8 km/h, and the mean impact angle was 15.4°. The areas of the body that were injured were similar across different barrier types (concrete, wire rope, and W-beam) and crash postures. The thorax area had the highest incidence of injury and maximum injury in fatal motorcycle crashes into barriers; the head area had the second-highest incidence of injury. Moreover, thorax and pelvis injuries had a greater association with sliding crashes than with those in the upright posture. The existing European Standard EN 1317-8 addresses only the sliding mechanism, uses a head injury criterion, and does not specify any thorax injury criterion. It was proposed that a thorax injury criterion and an additional test should be introduced with the rider in the upright position when striking the barrier and then sliding along the top of the barrier.


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  • Accession Number: 01476272
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309286961
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 13-5373
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 19 2013 5:02PM