Motorbike at night

Vulnerable Riders

  • May 26, 2008

Safety implications of motorcycling in the European Union

Motorcycling encompasses a number of types of vehicles and in recent years this has been reflected in the increased use of the term Powered Two Wheeler (PTW).

PTW fatalities account for approximately 20% of the total number of road fatalities; in addition, the fatality rate of PTW users is not declining at the same rate as that of car occupants. Whilst all modes of transport will inevitably carry some risk, a dedicated and thorough investigation of potential safety measures, specifically aimed at PTWs is overdue. The principles of PTW crash epidemiology and causation need to be understood to identify the most promising fields for targeted measures and further research needs. In conjunction with this, it should be recognised that increase in congestion has increased the popularity of PTWs.

In recent years there has been much discussion about whether or not a PTW user falls into the category of vulnerable road user or not. Both PTW users and cyclists (when wearing a helmet) are to some extent protected. The same arguments can be advanced in relation to protective clothing.

Despite the imperfections of applying such category, this report regards PTW users as vulnerable road users alongside cyclists and pedestrians and provides an overview of the main risks and safety measures associated with the use of PTWs.