Barriers to change: designing safe roads for motorcyclists. Position paper on motorcycles and crash barriers

  • Published: EuroRAP (2008)
  • Authors: EuroRAP
  • Date Added: 01 Feb 2017
  • Last Update: 01 Feb 2017
  • Format: pdf


To review the evidence and research base on crash barriers and their impact on Powered Two-Wheelers


A panel of European experts in the field of motorcycle safety, including representatives from motoring clubs, manufacturers, riders’ organisations, practitioners, transport specialists in research institutions and professional associations, and national and regional road authorities.

Key Findings:

  • Hitting a crash barrier is a factor in 8-16 per cent of rider deaths

  • In collisions with crash barriers, riders are 15 times more likely to be killed than a car occupant.

  • Motorcycle-friendly systems have been shown to halve fatalities and offer high rates of return.

  • That the quality of crash data and the research base surrounding how motorcyclists are killed and injured in crashes involving infrastructure needs to improve substantially.

  • The decision in July 2008 to develop a new European testing standard for crash barriers that incorporates the needs of dismounted riders is commended – but concerns remain that testing should take place for riders striking the barrier whilst mounted and for protective equipment added to existing barriers.

  • Every road safety engineering department should have a motorcycle champion to introduce a cultural change to the way in which risk is viewed by a road authority.



Motorcycles, Crash barriers, Risk