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A UniversityS View on Motorcycle Safety-Recent Research Results and Future Perspectives
Published May 13, 1996 by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in United States
Safety is of great importance for the future of motorcycles on public roads, yet it lags far behind 4-wheel vehicles in almost every aspect. Attitudes, behavior, abilities and actions of riders are of great influence on safety, but are poorly researched and given little attention by motorcycle manufacturers, particularly for critical ore emergency situations, in comparison with primary safety investigations elsewhere.
In order to get a wide range for a general investigation relevant sources of world literature were evaluated.
Motorcycle accidents are diverse and small changes in accident parameters can cause big differences in accident processes. The motorcycle braking is very important for accident processes and the safety in general.
Within the motorcycle research of the Department of Automotive Engineering (fzd) of Darmstadt University driving dynamics and braking of motorcycles are focal points since 1980.
Funded by the Bundesanstalt für StraBenwesen fzd intensified experimental man-machine-interface (MMI) research by looking into the braking behavior of motorcyclists in real traffic. Measurements and video data documented, that even in "normal" driving situations the braking behavior differs from the ideal braking. Extraordinary requirements asked from the driver in certain driving situations decrease the braking performance even more. In many situations higher decelerations were possible and necessary. The fear of locking the front wheel seems to be fixed in the riders consciousness of the subjects and prevents maximum deceleration.
The braking performance of riders on motorcycles equipped with today's standard independent braking system is insufficient in dangerous situations.
An outlook on future perspectives of enhancing the safety of motorcycles is given at the end