Project title: Study on Powered Two-Wheeler and Bicycle Accidents in the EU
Duration: 36 months (01/01/2015 - 12/31/2017)
Description: One of the strategic objectives identified by the European Commission for 2010-2020 is to increase the level of safety for vulnerable road users i.e. motorcyclists and moped that involved in an increased number of accidents with fatalities and serious injuries. In this context, the SAFERWHEELS study aims to investigate the drivers of these accidents involving powered two-wheelers and bicycles in the European Union.
The main objectives of this study were to (i) collect data from surveys conducted on powered two wheelers (PTW) and bicycles in the European Union, (ii) record accident-causing factors and medical data, and (iii) store the relevant information according to an appropriate and effective protocol, which facilitates the analysis of the accident-causing factors.
The specific data collection protocol comes from the DaCoTA project and includes about 1500 variables (or fields) that could be considered during an accident investigation. In addition, “On-scene” and “Retrospective” methodologies were used either individually or in combination in accident investigations so as to gather the necessary information.
The analysis proved that there are three common accident scenarios that cause fatalities and serious injuries to PTW riders: (i) a vehicle coming from the opposite direction turns left and the cyclist goes straight, (ii) the cyclist passes vertically from the right-hand side of the opposite direction, and (iii) the single vehicle accident case, in which 64% of riders lost control of their motorcycles in a turn / slope. The latter case also accounts for 25% of accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries to riders of mechanical two-wheelers.
The results of the study confirm previous outcomes regarding motorcycle accidents. This study reports that speed is an important accident factor in 25% of the cases. In particular, 22% of PTW riders and bicyclists seemed to travel at a very high speed for the prevailing traffic conditions and the environment.
Overall, the results of the study suggest that some interventions can be made to reduce accidents, particularly in terms of speed reduction. However, from a technological point of view, it is difficult to identify actions that could enhance the efficiency of two-wheeler vehicles. Training of riders, information campaigns and strict implementation of speed limits could result to significant road safety benefits. Regarding accidents that are not related to speed factor, such as accidents at intersections (which appear the highest frequency), technology can provide effective solutions through Intelligent Transport Systems could inform drivers of a rider's specific whereabouts.
Objectives: The main objectives of SAFEWHEELS were:
- Collection of accident data for at least 500 accidents of which between 80% and 85% involved Powered Two–Wheelers and the remainder bicycles. Equal numbers of cases were to be gathered in six countries, France, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and the UK.
- In-depth investigation and reporting for each of the accidents on the basis of the data collected
- Description of the main accident typologies and accident factors
- Proposal of most cost-effective measures to prevent PTW and bicycle accidents
HIT key role and responsibilities: Partner
CERTH/ΗΙΤ participated in the following tasks:
- Contribution to the development of the investigation protocol and database
- Contribution to the training of the consortium members with regards to injury coding and the vehicle technical inspection
- Collection of 85 accidents in the area of Thessaloniki
- Analysis and reconstruction of the accidents based on the investigation findings
- Data entry in the database and performance of quality controls
- Contribution to the final report.
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