“The Folksam testing with motorcycle hitting a barrier are the first test of this kind ever done in Sweden, and they open up for a prolongation”, says Jan Wenäll, research engineer at the VTI crash laboratory.
The VTI have participated in two different projects with focus on enhanced safety for motorcyclists. The first project, in cooperation with SMC (Swedish Motorcyclists Association) and SVBRF (Swedish parapet and barrier association), have studied existing literature to describe state-of-the art in motorcycle to barrier crash interaction. In the second project, initiated by Folksam, four full scale crash tests on barriers with different kind of protection was executed.
The joint result from these two projects opened a possibility to run a final crash test with a simple prototype of a plastic cover to shield the sharp edged on the top of the barrier, with excellent result.
“Even though this is just a very plain prototype, I am of the opinion that this is the very first time that we really have a functional idea on how to effectively reduce motorcyclists’ injuries in the event of an impact. Still dangerous, but to a less extent, this will let the motorcyclist slide along the barrier instead of getting stuck”.
The positive outcome is all about covering sharp edges and protruding parts, including the posts of the barrier. There are of course several other means, but the plastic tube was a cheap and simple way of demonstrating a principle. It is yet not a finished product.
“I have seen fatalities by motorcyclists, hitting the barrier from above. Limbs does always have the risk of getting tangled behind the barrier traffic side”, says Jan Wenäll.
The VTI crash laboratory is an accredited test facility for the EN1317 European test procedure for barriers, and being part of the international work with the procedure Jan Wenäll will bring this experience to the ongoing international development of a future motorcyclist’s addition to the same procedure.
See the video – Crash test with motorcycle towards barriers
The video shows crash tests with a motorcycle impacting barriers, the tests was run at VTI crash laboratory in April 2015 as a part of a Folksam project where this insurance company studied motorcycle accidents. In the various tests, different kind of motorcycle protection systems was installed on a traditional W-beam and sigma post barriers.