Emerging Risk of Fatal Motorcycle Crashes with Guardrails

NCHRP Report 350 describes crash test performance guidelines for guardrail systems impacted by the majority of vehicle types on U.S. highways. Because motorcycles comprise only 2% of registered U.S. vehicles, motorcycle impacts to guardrail are not evaluated as part of these guidelines. Motorcycles are a growing segment of the U.S. highway fleet. Both motorcycle registrations and fatal crashes are increasing at the rate of 7-8% per year. Motivated by this shift in the composition of the vehicle fleet, the objective of this paper is to examine the risk of fatality in motorcycle collisions with guardrails. In 2004, motorcyclists were found to be second only to car occupants in guardrail crash fatalities. This is surprising as cars compose over half of the vehicle fleet (56%) while motorcycles comprise only 2% of the registered vehicles. Beginning in 2005, motorcyclists are posed to become the leading victim of fatal injury in collisions with guardrails. Approximately, one in ten motorcyclists striking a guardrail will be fatally injured– a fatality risk nearly 100 times higher than for car occupants involved in a collision with a guardrail.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: CD-ROM
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 8p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 86th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers CD-ROM

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044923
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 07-3456
  • Files: BTRIS, TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Feb 8 2007 8:08PM