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Government must act to save motorcyclists’ lives

Posted in: Motorcycle Accidents 

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is calling on the government to redesign crash barriers to make them more motorcycle-friendly, as new research from Sweden shows that modern crash barriers actually provide no safety benefits whatsoever to motorcyclists.

Modern crash barriers are designed to save the lives of drivers, but hitting a crash barrier is a factor in 8-16% of fatal motorcyclist accidents, according to an IAM-sponsored study. Riders are fifteen times more likely to die after hitting a barrier than car occupants.

Britain’s current barriers protect car occupants by redirecting the car away from the barrier and slowing it down over a short distance. The car’s body, seat belts and airbags also help to minimise injury. For motorcyclists, there is no such protection, leaving the rider’s body to take the full impact, resulting in serious injury or death.

Two-thirds of all collisions between motorcyclists and crash barriers which result in death or serious injury include the rider either falling over or sliding under the crash barrier.

Adding a shield to the barrier to prevent the rider from sliding underneath and colliding with support posts would reduce fatalities by up to a third. Crash barrier support posts can worsen the injuries of motorcyclists involved in an accident by five times.

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