What is the life of a motorcycle

Motorcyclists are particularly dangerous

Motorcyclists have a dangerous hobby. Your risk of death in an accident is 21 times higher than that of drivers.

Two thirds of all motorcyclists killed on country roads caused their own accidents. That is the result of a current study by the accident research of insurers (UDV). Above 70 km / h, protective clothing cannot prevent serious injuries in motorcycle accidents.


"Even at speeds of more than 25 kilometers per hour, the usual jackets with protectors can no longer prevent life-threatening injuries in the event of a collision with an obstacle," says Siegfried Brockmann, head of the UVD. The airbag jackets on sale in stores move the range to around 50 km / h, Brockmann points out to the detailed analysis of accidental injuries and extensive computer simulations. On the computer, the researchers have also determined that an expansion of the airbag volume from the current 12 to 120 liters would extend the protection up to 70 kilometers per hour.

Chest and head particularly affected

In the case of fatal accidents, the chest (94.2 percent) and head (63.5 percent) of motorized two-wheelers are particularly hard hit. For this reason too, Brockmann warns against relying on back protectors. “They help on the circuit. But the images of motorcycle races in which the riders get up again after serious falls and slides and even continue driving are fatal. There are no run-off zones on country roads. "

Contrary to what is often assumed, the majority of fatal accidents according to the study are caused by motorcyclists themselves. "67 percent of all motorcyclists killed and their passengers in accidents involving up to two people were caused by motorcyclists," emphasizes the head of the UVD, referring to 619 bikers killed in the past year. "This corresponds to a share of 21 percent of all road deaths and underlines a trend that has been rising again for three years." This also applies to lightly and seriously injured motorcyclists.

Group trips no increased risk

The accident researchers also examined whether driving in groups poses a particular risk. Of a total of 2,345 serious accidents with motorized two-wheelers, only 357, or 15 percent, took place during a group trip - at least two people. This means that traveling in a group does not pose any particular safety risk. In general, the accident constellation differs significantly when traveling alone or in groups.

While collisions with cars or trucks at intersections and junctions are common when traveling alone, collisions with group members predominantly occur when traveling in groups. The researchers identified the safety margin, which is often far too small, as the main reason. "With the often used distance rule of half the speedometer value, however, every group trip would become a solo trip," says Brockmann about the problem.

No progress expected on security

Since the head of accident research does not expect any decisive improvements in terms of motorcycle technology and sees little progress in safety clothing for the time being, he advocates compulsory driving safety training.

Such training should take place at regular intervals of around two years, both on closed-off terrain and in real road traffic. Brockmann: “The greatest potential for improvement is on the motorcycle. Lives can be saved with appropriate training measures. "(SP-X)

After studying sports and journalism, he volunteered in a news agency. He then worked as a sports journalist and accompanied three Olympic Games as a reporter. Even then, he was more interested in the background than the result. He has been reporting on the automotive industry since 2005. In addition to the Autogazette, he is also responsible for the electrified magazine.