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Investigation of accidents involving powered two wheelers and bicycles – a European in-depth study

journal contribution
posted on 11.12.2020, 10:00 authored by Laurie BrownLaurie Brown, Andrew MorrisAndrew Morris, Pete Thomas, Karthikeyan Ekambaram, Dimitris Margaritis, Ragnhild Daidse, Davide Shingo Usami, Massimo Robibaro, Luca Persia, Ilona Buttler, Apostolos Ziakopoulos, Athanasios Theofilatos, George Yannis, Alain Martin, Fallou Wadji
Introduction
Numbers of road fatalities have been falling throughout the European Union (EU) during the past 20 years and most Member States have achieved an overall reduction. Research has mainly focused on protecting car occupants, with car occupant fatalities reducing significantly. However, recently there has been a plateauing in fatalities amongst ‘Vulnerable Road Users’ (VRUs), and in 2016 accidents involving VRUs accounted for nearly half of all EU road deaths.
Method
The SaferWheels study collected in-depth data on 500 accidents involving Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) and bicycles across six European countries. A standard in-depth accident investigation methodology was used by each team. The Driver Reliability and Error Analysis Method (DREAM) was used to systematically classify accident causation factors.
Results
The most common causal factors related to errors in observation by the PTW/bicycle rider or the driver of the other vehicle, typically called ‘looked but failed to see’ accidents. Common scenarios involved the other vehicle turning or crossing in front of the PTW/bicycle. A quarter of serious or fatal injuries to PTW riders occurred in accidents where the rider lost control with no other vehicle involvement.
Conclusions
Highly detailed data have been collected for 500 accidents involving PTWs or bicycles in the EU. These data can be further analysed by researchers on a case-study basis to gain detailed insights on such accidents. Preliminary analysis suggests that ‘looked but failed to see’ remains a common cause, and in many cases the actions of the other vehicle were the critical factor, though PTW rider speed or inexperience played a role in some cases.
Practical Applications
The collected data can be analysed to better understand the characteristics and causes of accidents involving PTWs and bicycles in the EU. The results can be used to develop policies aimed at reducing road deaths and injuries to VRUs.

Funding

The SaferWheels study was funded by the European Commission under contract number MOVE/C4/2014-661-2.

History

School

  • Design and Creative Arts

Department

  • Design

Published in

Journal of Safety Research

Volume

76

Pages

135 - 145

Publisher

Elsevier

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Rights holder

© National Safety Council and Elsevier Ltd

Publisher statement

This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Journal of Safety Research and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsr.2020.12.015

Acceptance date

18/12/2020

Publication date

2021-01-08

Copyright date

2021

ISSN

0022-4375

Language

en

Depositor

Laurie Brown. Deposit date: 10 December 2020