A headway to improve PTW rider safety within the EU through three types of ITS

Introduction: The current safety situation for Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) within the EU is alarming. According to EU statistics, PTW riders account for 17% of all fatal road injuries in the region and twice as many fatalities per hundred thousand registered vehicles compared with occupants of cars. In recent years, too little attention has been given to Vulnerable Road Users (VRUs), including PTW users, in the development of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Therefore, ITS should be developed that consider PTW riders an integral part of traffic; we focus on three systems that we believe have the potential to improve safety among PTW riders, namely Intersection Safety (INS), the Powered Two Wheeler oncoming vehicle information system (PTW2V), and the Vulnerable road user Beacon System (VBS). The present study aims to estimate quantitatively the safety impacts of the selected ITS for PTW riders in the EU-28, once the systems are fully adopted and meet selected future scenarios for 2020 and 2030. Method: An ex-ante method suggested by Kulmala [1] was further developed and applied to assess the safety impacts of ITS specifically designed for VRUs. As suggested by the method, the analysis started by determining the impact mechanisms through which the selected ITS systems affect the safety of PTW riders. Results: According to the main results, all the systems we studied have a positive impact on PTW rider safety by preventing fatalities and injuries. The greatest effects, based on 2012 accident data and full penetration, could be attained by implementing PTW2V (283 fewer yearly fatalities) and INS (261 fewer yearly fatalities). The weakest effect was found with VBS (216 fewer yearly fatalities). Forecasts for 2030, also based on estimated accident trends and penetration rates, confirm an expected edge for INS and PTW2V in terms of safety.