Is it more dangerous to ride through a bend to the right or to the left? Results from accident analyses and a behaviour observation study

Ist es gefaehrlicher durch eine Linkskurve zu fahren oder durch eine Rechtskurve? Ergebnisse aus Unfallanalysen und einer Verhaltensstudie

Motorcycle riding is often a leisure activity and especially curves allow for an expressive use of the motorcycle. On the downside, curves also represent a highly accident-prone location for motorcyclists. Losing the control of the motorcycle in a curve leads to particularly injurious crashes. This study analyses a curve in a rural setting, which has been identified as an accident black spot. The accident statistics of this curve show that 9 out of the 10 registered crashes occurred in the left hand direction. In order to further explore this issue, a behaviour observation was conducted within the project 2 Be Safe. N=289 motorcycles were registered during a weekend, and the behaviour in the bend to the right and to the left was compared. Coinciding with the accident analyses, the results of the observation reveal that more potentially risky behaviour occurs when riding through the left hand bend than through the right hand bend, leading to narrower margins for evasive manoeuvres or corrective actions. The riders trace a path that gets closer to the road edge markings, they are more likely to cross the centre line and they do so in more critical zones of the curve. This research calls for specific measures that help riders to manage left-turn bends safely, such as improvements of the infrastructure or specific rider training. Furthermore this study shows that behavioural observations can provide insights beyond accident analyses and serve as a meaningful complementary tool that give relevant clues for the improvement of rider safety. (A)


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; Illustrations; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 209-27
  • 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: 01532848
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Bundesanstalt für Straßenwesen (BASt)
  • ISBN: 978-3-923994-20-5
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Jul 8 2014 2:47AM