Motorcycle crashes into road barriers: The role of stability and different types of barriers for injury outcome
Paper in proceedings, 2012
This research focused on motorcycle crashes into road barriers and addressed two research questions: the first to assess if injury risk for motorcyclists is affected by collisions with different types of barriers, and the second, to examine if injury outcome in these crashes can be affected by being in an upright position during the collision. Police-reported motorcycle crashes into road barriers in Sweden between 2003 and 2010 were analyzed across different barrier types, using the Fatal-Serious-Injury Ratio (FSI). In addition, 55 in-depth interviews with Swedish motorcyclists who had crashed into road barriers were included to measure threat-to-life and medical disability. The analysis of police records showed no statistically significant difference between the FSI-ratios for wire rope barriers, Kohlswa-beam and W-beam barriers, although these FSI-ratios were generally very high. The small number of in-depth case findings, however, showed that injury severity was lower in crashes in which the motorcyclists were in an upright position during the collision. The proportion of subjects with ISS 16+ was 24% lower in those crashes compared to those who slid into the barrier. In addition, AIS 2+ and AIS 3+ injuries were 22% and 12% lower, respectively. The mean Risk for Permanent Medical Impairment 10% (RPMI) was 51% lower, and leg injuries were more common although these results were not statistically significant. While the implementation of Anti-lock Brakes on motorcycles may improve stability during critical situations, further development of integrated leg protectors might still be needed.