High Risk of Injury

Foresighted Driving Saves Lives

Bikercrash with car

For many years, the number of motorcyclist deaths across the EU has remained at a relatively high level. Motorcyclists are involved in around 15% of all road accidents that result in fatalities. In figures for 2016, this would mean that of 25,500 traffic fatalities, over 3,800 of these were on motorcycles. If the driving performance-related risk of being killed in a road accident is used as a measure, it is 18 times higher for motorcyclists than it is for other road users in the EU.

DEKRA recently demonstrated just how serious the consequences of a crash with a car (the other party most frequently involved in accidents) can be, with a crash test at the Road Safety Center in Bielefeld. On the second DEKRA Safety Day, the side impact of a motorcyclist with a convertible car at a speed of just under 50 km/h was simulated. The motorcycle crashed into the middle of the passenger door and the dummy was thrown into the vehicle – first hitting the passenger with its helmeted head and then landing on the driver. The consequences of this type of collision would be devastating. “In reality, everybody involved would have only survived this kind of scenario with serious or extremely severe injuries – if at all,” explains Jens König, head of accident analytics and accident research at DEKRA Automobil GmbH.

However, the accident researcher believes that both drivers and motorcyclists can avoid this type of serious accident: “For example, if motorcyclists think ahead when riding and reduce their speed before intersections, in particular.” Car drivers should also exercise appropriate care at intersections. This applies in particular given the fact that the actual speed of an approaching motorcycle is very difficult to judge.

“Provided that the motorcyclist realizes in good time that they need to brake fully, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) contributes to preventing an accident or mitigating the consequences for all parties involved,” explains Jens König. This is because the systems prevent the wheels from locking, which averts a braking-related fall. The system allows the driver to unhesitatingly apply maximum braking with full force without losing driving stability. Especially during full braking operations or sudden deceleration on a slippery surface, ABS allows motorcycles in particular to come to a stop much more safely and riders to maintain better control at the physical limits of riding.