Fatal Motorcycle Into Road Safety Barrier Crashes
Motorcyclists contribute significantly to road trauma in Australia and New Zealand through the high incidence of serious injuries and fatalities. The role of roadside safety barriers in such trauma has been an area of concern amongst motorcyclists, road authorities and road safety researchers and advocates despite the number of such crashes being small (6% of all motorcycle crashes in Australia and only 2% of New Zealand crashes for the period 2001 to 2006). Roadside barriers include safety barriers positioned either at road edges or within medians, and are typically steel W beam, concrete, and wire-rope in Australia and New Zealand. This paper presents an overview of key findings of a research project investigating motorcycle crashes into roadside safety barriers carried out at the Injury Risk Management Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. The project was funded by the WA, NSW and NZ road authorities, the Australian Automobile Association and NSW Motor Accidents Authority. Investigation and analysis were completed in three stages. Stage 1 focussed on the characteristics of the human, vehicle and environmental crash characteristics and causal factors associated with fatal motorcycle-barrier collisions in Australia and New Zealand between 2001 and 2006. Stage 2 focussed on the crash mechanics and injury causation in such crashes. Stage 3 focussed on a survivability analysis of motorcyclists colliding with roadside barriers, and other types of fixed roadside objects. A summary of the statistical and analytical results from all three stages will be presented.