The IAM is calling on the Government to redesign crash barriers to make them more motorcycle-friendly, as new research 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 eight to 16% of fatal accidents among motorcyclists, according to an IAM-sponsored study. Riders are also 15 times more likely to die after hitting a barrier than car occupants.
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, but adding a shield to the barrier to prevent this would reduce fatalities by up to a third, says the IAM. Crash barrier support posts can worsen the injuries of motorcyclists involved in an accident by five times, adds the road safety charity.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “Crash barriers are designed with cars in mind, but they can cause more harm than good for motorcyclists.
“Modifications are happening across Europe as Governments recognise exactly how dangerous they are. Last year deaths and injuries of motorcyclists increased in the UK, so we must do more to protect them. Adding extra protection to the barrier so that the posts aren’t exposed is a simple and cost-effective way to save lives.”
For more information contact the IAM on 020 8996 9777.