Powered Two Wheeler (PTW) users are greatly over-involved in serious and fatal crashes. They have between 5 and 25 times the risk of having a fatal crash compared to car drivers, depending on the country. The number of PTWs on European roads has more than doubled over the last two decades. The recent MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In-Depth Study) study of PTW crashes in Europe found that behavioural and ergonomic issues were major contributing factors to PTW crashes. The primary accident cause for PTW crashes was the failure of drivers to perceive two-wheelers, and human error was a major contributing factor to most crashes, for both PTW and car drivers.
The majority of PTW crashes involved a collision with a car. Many large-scale research programs have been undertaken to understand the behavioural and ergonomic factors that contribute to crashes involving 4-wheeled vehicles. These have been effective in informing countermeasure development, which has led to significant reductions in crashes. To our knowledge, no comparable human factors and behavioural research programs have been initiated in the PTW domain, in Europe or elsewhere. The high rate of motorcycle-related deaths and injuries calls for new and refined countermeasures, deriving from solid behavioural and ergonomics research.
The main objective was to target behavioural and ergonomics research to develop countermeasures for enhancing Powered Two Wheeler (PTW), rider's safety, including research on crash causes and human errors, and the world's first naturalistic riding study involving instrumented PTWs.
The research targeted the behavioural and ergonomic factors contributing to motorcycle crashes. It focused on the following scientific issues:
- to analyse the crash causes and human error;
- to realise the world’s first naturalistic riding study involving instrumented PTWs;
- to examine PTW riders’ perception and acceptance of risk;
- to develop new research tools to support the research program, in-depth research on the factors that underlie driver failures to see PTWs and their riders;
- to develop recommendations for practical countermeasures for enhancing PTW rider safety.
The project outlined an innovative program of research (involving partners from Europe, Israel and Australia) that directly targets those behavioural and ergonomic factors cited in the MAIDS study as contributing to PTW crashes. This includes research on crash causes and human error.
The 2-BE-SAFE project involves 29 partners in 14 different countries in Europe, Israel and Australia, divided among research and academic institutes, end-users' associations and industrial partners.
2 BE SAFE was the first study designed and implemented at a large-scale, integrated, program of research on the behavioural and ergonomic factors that underlie PTW crashes. The countermeasures proposed target the most critical safety problems identified in the MAIDS project. The implementation of the countermeasures will have the greatest impact possible in reducing road trauma for PTW riders. Specific recommendations have been made for improving PTW conspicuity, and actual technologies for improving PTW complicity have been developed and tested.
The most innovative technologies were six instrumented PTWs for naturalistic riding studies and two riding simulators which were used to study rider behaviour and performance in both normal and emergency riding conditions.
The strategy of this project consisted in conducting three innovative axis of research focussing on riders behaviour and on riders-drivers interactions. These topics of research in these three areas were derived from accidentology findings, and were supported by research and activities in designing the required technological tools.
WP 1 identified accident situations in which PTW riders are over-represented, and identifies and characterises the behavioural dysfunctions & including human errors that underlie these crash types.
WP 2, 3 and 5 involved studies designed to provide an in-depth understanding of PTW rider behaviour and performance, and rider-driver interactions, in normal and emergency situations.
WP 6 merged and distilled the results from WP 2, 3 and 5, analyses them and, using a systemic approach, produces guidelines and recommendations for countermeasure development.
WP 4 designed the relevant tools and methodologies (instrumented vehicles, driving/riding simulators, videos) which were used in WP 2, 3 and 5.
An efficient and integrated mobility system: Acting on transport safety - saving thousands of lives
The results of the project need further research on:
- Mandatory Use of Headlights
- Integrated Road Safety Education Programme
- Guidelines for Improvement of Rider Conspicuity during Night-time Riding
- Road Safety Inspection
- Obligatory Helmet Use for PTW Riders and Passengers
- Improvement of Data Collection
- Identification of Accident Blackspots
- Road Safety Audit