Conference PaperPDF Available

Motorcycle Protective Clothing: Fashion or Function

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

This is a report on a project to identify the features of effective motorcycle protective clothing and develop a process to ensure riders are able to make informed purchasing choices. While clothing cannot prevent serious high impact injuries, there is evidence that perhaps half of all motorcycle injuries could have been reduced or prevented by the use of effective protective clothing. Research based on crash investigation, injury studies and engineering has established standards for the features of effective motorcycle protective clothing. It has also provided objective tests as a means of verifying the protective performance of such clothing, however, this information has not filtered through to consumers nor been taken up by manufacturers. Surveys indicated that riders’ choice of clothing does not reflect awareness of the patterns of injury risk that are well known to researchers. Independent consumer tests in Europe have revealed that much of the clothing currently available will not provide the expected level of protection from injury in a crash. While the standards for motorcycle protective clothing are only in force in Europe, their development has implication for the industry world wide. This presented an opportunity to encourage the local Australian motorcycle industry to develop a product safety assurance system for motorcycle clothing in order to remain competitive with European imports. The aim was to achieve a higher standard of protective clothing, consumer confidence and hence increased usage by riders who can be assured it is fit for the purpose.
Content may be subject to copyright.
THE HUMAN ELEMENT
THE 2006 INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE SAFETY CONFERENCE (IMSC)
MARCH 28-30
MOTORCYCLE PROTECTIVE CLOTHING:
FASHION OR FUNCTION?
Liz de Rome
LdeR Consulting,
&
Guy Stanford,
Motorcycle Council of NSW
Sydney, Australia
liz@lderconsulting.com.au
Telephone: 61 2 9550 2292
Po Box 48
Alexandria,
New South Wales, Australia 1435
1
Motorcycle protective clothing –fashion or function?
Authors: Liz de Rome & Guy Stanford
Abstract
This is a report on a project to identify the features of effective motorcycle protective
clothing and develop a process to ensure riders are able to make informed purchasing
choices.
While clothing cannot prevent serious high impact injuries, there is evidence that perhaps
half of all motorcycle injuries could have been reduced or prevented by the use of
effective protective clothing.
Research based on crash investigation, injury studies and engineering has established
standards for the features of effective motorcycle protective clothing. It has also provided
objective tests as a means of verifying the protective performance of such clothing,
however, this information has not filtered through to consumers nor been taken up by
manufacturers.
Surveys indicated that riders’ choice of clothing does not reflect awareness of the patterns
of injury risk that are well known to researchers. Independent consumer tests in Europe
have revealed that much of the clothing currently available will not provide the expected
level of protection from injury in a crash.
While the standards for motorcycle protective clothing are only in force in Europe, their
development has implication for the industry world wide. This presented an opportunity
to encourage the local Australian motorcycle industry to develop a product safety
assurance system for motorcycle clothing in order to remain competitive with European
imports. The aim was to achieve a higher standard of protective clothing, consumer
confidence and hence increased usage by riders who can be assured it is fit for the
purpose.
Introduction
This paper is a report on a project to encourage use of motorcycle protective clothing. The
project involved educating riders and the local motorcycle apparel industry as to the
features of effective protective clothing. It identified a need for consumer protection
advocacy and independent testing as a means of verifying the protective quality of
products. It has resulted in the establishment of a process to achieve a product safety
assurance system for motorcycle protective clothing.
In 2003, the Motor Accidents Authority of NSW (MAA) funded the development of a
consumers guide to motorcycle protective clothing for the Motorcycle Council of NSW
(de Rome, 2003). It was apparent at the time that riders’ choice of clothing appeared to
be driven more by comfort and convenience than by informed safety decisions.
Although patterns of relative risk of injury to different parts of the body were well known
to crash researchers, this information did not appear to have filtered through to the rider
community or to motorcycle magazines. In addition, most protective clothing reflected
motorcycle racing images and was not appropriate in terms of fashion, style or
convenience for commuters and general road riding.
2
A survey of riders established the types of clothing used. This was associated with factors
such as the style of motorcycle, motorcycle club membership and whether they had ever
crashed (de Rome et al, 2004).
The project also included literature research and consultation with protective clothing
experts from Europe. Standards for motorcycle protective clothing had recently come into
force in Europe and provided the first objective tests of how specific products would
perform under crash conditions.
The availability of these tests enabled consumer groups and magazines to objectively
compare products for the first time. This has revealed significant failings in many well
known brands. Consultations with key importers and manufacturers in Australia and New
Zealand revealed a general lack of awareness of the existence of the European standards
and of the implications for the local industry.
Rider usage of protective clothing
A survey of 796 motorcyclists in New South Wales conducted in 2002, found that while
virtually all riders wear a helmet and motorcycle jacket, they were least likely to wear
protective clothing on their legs. 1 Less than half (45%) of the riders normally wore
motorcycle pants. The situation was markedly worse for their pillion passengers with only
36% wearing motorcycle pants (de Rome et al, 2004).
Figure 1. Riders and pillion passengers’ usage of motorcycle protective clothing in New
South Wales.
92%
36%
92%
60%
80%
45%
85%
96% 97%
89%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
Head Legs Body Feet Hands
Pillion Rider
This pattern of rider usage of protective clothing was at odds with the relative risks of
injury to each part of the body that has been documented by motorcycle crash research.
1 Note: The wearing of an approved, properly fastened helmet is mandatory for motorcycle riders in all states
of Australia.
3
In 1993, the European Experimental Vehicles Committee recognized that the legs are the
area most frequently injured in a motorcycle crash (EEVC, 1993). Similar patterns of
injury by body part have been documented by a range of crash studies studies in USA,
UK and Germany (Hurt et al, 1981; Craig et al, 1983; Schuller et al, 1986; Otte &
Middelhauve, 1987).
Figure 2 illustrates a comparison of the distribution of rider injuries in 1987 (Otte &
Middelhauve) with that of the recent MAID Study (ACEM, 2004). It reveals a
remarkably consistent pattern despite changes in vehicle and equipment safety in the
intervening decades.
Figure 2. Motorcycle injury patterns 1987 vs 2004.
48%
9%
19%
13%
81%
14%
56%
7%
43%
4%
21%
12%
56%
74%
Head Neck Chest Pelvic Abdomin Arm Leg
Otte & Middelhauve, 1987 ACEM, 2004
Although crash researchers have long recognized the legs as the area most at risk in
motorcycle crashes, it is their legs that are least likely to be protected by riders. Could the
lack of protection be due to a lack of information about relative injury risk rates or
perhaps due to a lack of suitable products?
Almost two thirds (64%) of the respondents to the NSW survey were members of
motorcycle clubs. This provided an opportunity to compare the protective clothing used
by club members with that of non-members. It was hypothesized that the members of
motorcycle clubs, being more involved in riding, and perhaps better informed than less
committed riders, might be more likely to protect their legs.
4
Figure 3. Comparison of motorcycle club members and non members’ use of
protective clothing in New South Wales (de Rome et al, 2004,).
89% 87%
98%
52%
23%
83%
89%
20%
36%
94%
87%
75%
85%
22%
46%
96%
84% 87%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
MC Boots MC Gloves MC Jacket MC Pants Armour Full Face
Helmet
Club member Non-member All
Figure 3 shows club members did have a higher level of usage of motorcycle boots (89%
vs 75%) and motorcycle pants (52% vs 36%) than non-members. However as club
membership tends to be associated with particular types of motorcycle and styles of
riding, the higher usage rates may be simply a reflection of the types of motorcycles
ridden rather than a higher level of safety consciousness.
Table 1 shows the proportion of riders using each type of protective clothing by the type
of motorcycle that they rode.
Table1. Proportion of riders using motorcycle protective clothing by type of motorcycle
(de Rome et al, 2004).
Type of motorcycle MC Boots MC Gloves MC Jacket MC Pants
Sports 86% 91% 98% 50%
Tourer 86% 86% 97% 49%
Cruiser 86% 83% 95% 33%
Trail 71% 71% 90% 38%
Scooter/ Commuter 41% 89% 81% 19%
All 84% 87% 96% 46%
It is apparent that those with sports or tourer style motorcycles were most likely to wear
full riding gear including motorcycle pants. However this does not necessarily indicate
that those riders have higher levels of concern for safety than the riders of other machines,
it may be more a reflection of pragmatism, fashion or even just what is available in the
market.
5
An informal review of advertisements for motorcycle apparel in Australia suggests that
the motorcycle clothing market is segmented for different styles of road riding. Clothing
that is promoted as providing injury protection tends to be styled in the image of the race
track and is aimed at sports bike riders. Clothing that provides protection from the
elements tends to be touring oriented. There is relatively little motorcycle protective
clothing that is suitable in terms of fashion or convenience for general road riders,
cruisers, commuters or scooter riders.
The function of motorcycle clothing
The findings of the survey led to a project to investigate the features of effective
motorcycle protective clothing. The objective was twofold:
1. To encourage the use of protective clothing by providing riders with the
resources to make informed purchasing decisions.
2. To provide guidance to the motorcycle clothing industry in terms of features of
protection, so that these may be incorporated in different fashions or styles of
gear.
Any discussion of motorcyclist clothing should first distinguish between the different
purposes for which it may be worn. Motorcyclists’ clothing may:
1. Prevent or minimise injury in the case of a crash,
2. Protect from the elements – wind, rain, cold and heat,
3. Draw the attention of other motorists (conspicuity),
4. Make a desired fashion statement.
Our focus is on protection from injury, although comfort and conspicuity are also safety
issues for motorcyclists. Comfort in terms of protection from the elements is important in
reducing fatigue, distraction and dehydration. The challenge for manufacturers is to
provide protection from injury, as well as from the elements, without restricting ease of
movement or creating stress fatigue.
The potential for clothing to increase a riders’ visibility to other motorists is less well
established. However it is an issue that every rider needs to consider as failure to see the
motorcyclist was a factor for up to half of the drivers in motorcycle collisions (EEVC,
1993).
The issue of fashion is not entirely trivial. Motorcycle clothing can be very expensive and
one of our objectives with this project is to try to help riders distinguish between clothing
features that are just fashion and those that have some genuine protective merit.
Protective clothing generally includes gloves, boots, a long sleeved jacket and pants, or
one piece suit, made of leather or other fabric with high abrasion and tear resistance. New
materials, better manufacturing methods and improved quality controls are all having an
effect on the end product. Most items, these days will also include some impact
protectors to absorb or distribute force at specific impact points. Our discussion does not
include helmets because they are mandatory in Australia and usage is very widely
accepted.
6
The injury reduction benefits of motorcycle clothing
The injury reduction potential of motorcycle protective clothing has been well established
for at least 30 years (Feldkamp, et al 1976; Zettas et al, 1979; Hurt, Ouellet & Wager,
1981; Schuller et al., 1982 & 1986; Otte & Middelhauve, 1987; Hell & Lob, 1993; Otte et
al 2002; ACEM, 2004).
Over 20 years ago, Schuller reported that injured riders, who had been wearing leathers,
spent on average 7 days less in hospital, and returned to work 20 days earlier than
unprotected riders. The protected riders were 40% less likely to have suffered permanent
physical defect. It was concluded that protective clothing can prevent or reduce 43% of
injuries to soft tissue and 63% of deep and extensive injuries (Schuller et al, 1986). More
recently, Otte found that impact protectors reduced the incidence of complex leg fractures
and reported significant injury reduction for riders wearing high boots (Otte et al, 2002).
Most research has described the injury reduction benefits of protective clothing in relation
to soft tissue injuries. Protective clothing has also been found to prevent or reduce injuries
such as cuts and abrasions, exhaust pipe burns, friction burns and the stripping away of
skin and muscle. Protective clothing may also reduce the risk of infection from wound
contamination and consequent complications in the healing of severe injuries. (e.g.
Schuller et al, 1986, Pegg & Mayze, (1983) Otte & Middelhauve, 1987; Hell & Lob,
1993).
There are, of course, limits to the extent that clothing can prevent injury, particularly in
high impact crashes. However there is also evidence that most motorcycle crashes are not
high impact.
The European Experimental Vehicles Committee’s review of research into motorcycle
accidents, found that the majority of motorcycle collisions take place at fairly low speeds,
the average impact being at between 30 and 45 kilometers per hour (EEVC, 1993).
According to the recent MAIDS (Motorcycle Accident In depth Study), 75% of all
motorcycle crashes occur at speeds of 50 km/h or less (ACEM, 2004).
MAIDS reported that some 40% of riders tumbled, rolled or slid along the road from the
point of the crash without any further impact with another object (ACEM, 2004). Overall,
almost half (49%) of all the injuries recorded in MAIDS were rated to be minor or Level 1
on the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS 1).
Crashes where the rider slides along the road surface without impacting a fixed object are
less likely to result in severe injuries and are the types of crashes where protective
clothing can offer the greatest injury reduction (Hell & Lob, 1993, Otte et al, 1987).
Features of effective motorcycle protective clothing
The MAIDS investigators tried to establish whether clothing had reduced or prevented
minor injuries such as cuts, gravel rash, friction burns etc. Figure 4 illustrates the
proportion of riders considered to have been protected from minor injury by their
clothing. The graph includes only those riders who were wearing protective clothing and
sustained a direct impact that could have caused an injury to that part of the body. For
example, the column for the upper torso indicates that clothing prevented superficial
injury for more than a quarter (26%), and reduced injuries for over half (62%) of these
riders. Only 11% or just over 1 in ten riders sustained injuries to the upper torso despite
their clothing.
7
Figure 4. Riders protected from minor injury by clothing.
49%
26%
15%
43% 39% 34%
46%
62%
69%
52% 52% 57%
5% 11% 16%
5% 9% 10%
0%
20%
40%
60%
80%
100%
120%
Head Upper torso Lower torso Hands Feet All areas
Prevented Reduced No effect
While such studies affirm the general benefits of protective clothing, they do not
distinguish between the specific features of items that provided effective protection from
those that failed.
Our review of the literature found little objective information that riders could apply in
selecting protective clothing products. Riders are largely dependent on the advertising
claims of manufacturers or product reviews by magazines. However until recently there
was no means of providing an objective assessment of the likely protective performance
of any product in a crash.
Standards for motorcycle protective clothing
The situation has now changed with the development of standards for motorcycle
protective clothing in Europe. Under European law, any clothing claiming to provide
protection from injury must be tested and labeled as complying with the relevant standard.
This is a general European law that requires standards for all safety equipment not just for
motorcycle apparel. Under the directive, a product can only be described as “protective” if
it provides protection from injury, the term cannot be applied to products that provide
protection from the weather.
The European Directive on Personal Protective Equipment was made law in 1989, but it
took some time for the standards for motorcycle clothing to be developed. The first
standard to be issued for motorcycle gear was for impact protectors, which was released
in 1997 (EN 1621-1). Standards have since been issued for gloves, boots, jackets and
pants and back protectors. Each has a different number and clothing that complies must
have been tested and labeled with the CE mark and the appropriate standards number.
The development of the Standards has provided objective tests for measuring the
protective performance of motorcycle clothing products. The tests are largely based on
the work of Roderick I. Woods who published a specification for motorcycle protective
8
clothing in which he defined the injury risk and protection requirements for each part of
the body (Woods, 1996). See figure 5.
Figure 5. Injury risk zones (Woods, 1996)
Zone 1 High - needs impact protectors & high
abrasion resistance
Zone 2. High - needs high abrasion resistance
Zone 3. Moderate - moderate abrasion resistance
Zone 4 Relatively low risk.
The Standards specify the test process and equipment upon which they must be
performed. The tests measure performance in relation to:
1. Abrasion resistance to determine how long the material will last when being
abraded against the road surface.
2. Burst strength to ensure that seams, fastenings and the material itself will not split
open on impact.
3. Tear and cut resistance, required to ensure the material cannot be cut, penetrated
or torn by sharp objects in a crash.
4. Impact resistance is required to slow down the rate of transfer of forces in an
impact. Protection is required over specified high impact areas of the body and
must remain in place during an impact.
Implications for other markets
While these standards are only enforceable in Europe, their development has significant
implications for non-European markets. For the first time consumers have a means of
objectively assessing how individual products would perform in the ultimate test of a
crash. Applied by independent consumer organizations, the outcome has been to reveal
serious failings in the safety performance of many of the products currently available in
the European market.
For example, in one study of 18 leather suits tested by the British magazine “Ride” in
August 2004, 7 of the suits scored 5 or less out of 10 for abrasion, 10 suits scored 5 or less
on the burst test, 9 scored 5 or less on the impact test, 8 scored 5 or less on the tear test
and 2 had zip failure (Crick, 2004 b).
9
None of these failings could have been reliably predicted by visual inspection or reliance
on brand name. The results indicate that neither brand name nor cost can be used as
indicators of protective quality. The most expensive suit from a world renowned
company was rated second last in the rankings, whereas one of the cheapest suits was
rated third best. Comparable tests of textile jackets, gloves and boots have also found the
majority of those products do not perform well (Crick, 2004 a, 2004 c & 2005).
Similar independent tests have been conducted by consumer groups in the UK since the
European Directive on Protective Personal Equipment was announced in 1989. From a
comparison of such tests over the intervening period it is apparent that manufacturers
have responded to calls for better protection. Most European manufacturers now include
CE Standard impact protectors over the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders. Cotton
padding or soft foam is no longer acceptable.
The abrasion resistance scores, particularly for textile jackets, have improved significantly
over time as new materials and new methods of construction have emerged. However,
quality of construction remains a weak point and many of the tested suits (leather and
textile) continue to fail on seam strength and material burst resistance. The frustration is
that the results suggest that in many cases only relatively minor adjustment to production
methods could achieve compliance and produce protective products that are fit for the
purpose.
The absence of any equivalent standards mean that motorcycle protective clothing can be
sold in other markets without either a requirement, nor any means, to justify claims of
providing protection from injury. Given the high level of failure of reputable European
products when tested against the European standards, there is no reason to assume that
products by other manufacturers would perform any better.
Increasing the usage of motorcycle protective clothing
A recent review of motorcycle safety strategies found that most include strategies for
increasing the use of motorcycle protective clothing (de Rome, 2005). However it is
evident from the current project that appropriate and verifiably effective clothing is not
readily available for many riders.
There appears to be a lack of systematic connection between the three key areas of
interest in motorcycle protective clothing (research, consumers and manufacturers).
Researchers with knowledge drawn from crash investigation, injury studies and
engineering have made a good case for the safety value and features of effective
motorcycle protective clothing. They have also provided the means of verifying the
protective performance of such clothing, but this information has not filtered through to
consumers nor been taken up by manufacturers.
It is perhaps unrealistic to expect the motorcycle apparel industry to take a lead in raising
standards for their products in the absence of demand from their markets. Consumers
have been largely uninformed and undemanding, perhaps because the major source of
information for riders is through motorcycle magazines, which are dependent on
advertising for their revenue.
In Australia and New Zealand a number of steps have been taken to address these issues.
Web based consumer guides on motorcycle protective clothing have been developed to
10
enable riders to make more informed purchasing decisions and to demand assurances on
the protective quality of the gear they buy (de Rome, 2002; de Rome, 2004).
Strategies have also been undertaken to inform the local motorcycle apparel industry
about the existence of the European standards and the implications for the local industry.
The availability of the standards also has implications for traders’ duty of care under
Australian consumer protection law (Trade Practices Act, 1974). Under this law traders
can be liable for goods that are not fit for the purpose for which they were sold.
As riders become better informed there is expected to be increased demand for CE
marked European products and reduced demand for the products of other manufacturers.
Anticipation of these events created an opportunity to encourage the local industry to
develop a product safety assurance system in order to remain competitive.
An industry seminar was conducted for the key stakeholders to identify and address the
implications for the Australian industry and rider community. Participants included all
the key manufacturers, importers and retailers of motorcycle clothing, motorcycle groups
and consumer protection and road safety agencies.
The outcome of the seminar was a general consensus to establish performance standards
and a regulatory system for motorcycle protective clothing that would work in the best
interests of riders and the industry.
A working party has been set up and is working on the establishment of an association for
the motorcycle accessories industry, which will have carriage of the regulatory system.
Key decisions under debate centre on the extent to which the European standards and their
testing and labeling regime will be adopted or adapted for local application. The
establishment of the system will also involve the resolution of a number of issues
including the establishment of test facilities, making provision for imported as well as
locally produced clothing, and mechanisms for monitoring and policing of compliance.
Conclusion
Motorcycle protective clothing cannot prevent major injuries in high impact crashes. At
best, a rider’s protective clothing may reduce or prevent soft tissue damage and the risk of
infection and complications. The benefit of increased levels of motorcycle protective
clothing usage is likely to be confined to reductions in the incidence of minor (AIS 1)
level injuries. However the MAIDS research indicates that such injuries are a significant
proportion (49%) of all injuries sustained by riders and were the only injuries sustained
by over a third (36%) of all the riders involved in crashes (ACEM, 2004).
Our survey of riders showed that their usage of protective clothing does not reflect the
higher relative risk of injury to their legs. Consumer education as to the benefits and
features of effective motorcycle protective clothing is fundamental for riders to make
informed choices.
The project also identified significant gaps in the market as appropriate protective
clothing is not available for all styles of road riding. There is no point in encouraging
riders to wear protective clothing if suitable products are not available. These findings
have been presented as an opportunity for local industry to provide a wider range of
fashion and style choices with credible levels of protection to meet the needs of all the
different segments of the motorcycle market.
11
Finally consumer confidence in the protective performance of these products is essential if
riders are to be encouraged to invest in protective motorcycle clothing. A quality
assurance or standards system independently assessed or monitored by consumer
protection agencies will be essential if that confidence is to be achieved.
References
1. ACEM (2004), MAIDS In-depth investigation of accidents involving powered two
wheelers. Association of European Motorcycle Manufacturers (ACEM), Brussels.
2. CEC (1989), The Council of the European Communities Directive on the
Approximation of the Laws of the Member States relating to Personal
Protective Equipment 89/686/EEC, Office for Official Publications of the
European Communities, CONSLEG: 1989L0686-08/10/1996.
3. Craig, G.R., Sleet, R. & Wood, S.R. (1983), Lower Limb injuries in motorcycle
accidents, Injury, 15, 163-166.
4. Crick, Oliver (2004) (a), All season Boots, Ride, December, 2004, UK.
5. Crick, Oliver (2004) (b), Leather Suites, Ride, August, 2004, UK.
6. Crick, Oliver (2004) (c), Summer Gloves, Ride, April, 2004, UK.
7. Crick, Oliver (2005), Leather is history, Ride, October, 2005, UK.
8. De Rome, L. (2002), Motorcycle riding gear, prepared for the Motorcycle Council
of NSW, Sydney http://www.roadsafety.mccofnsw.org.au/a/11.html.
9. De Rome, L., Stanford, G. & Wood, B. (2003), Motorcycle Protective Clothing,
Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, Sydney.
10. De Rome, L., Stanford, G. & Wood, B. (2004), Survey of motorcyclists and their
safety initiatives, Road Safety Research, Policing and Education Conference, Perth.
11. De Rome, L. (2004), Gear Up, produced for the Accident Compensation
Commission, New Zealand .http://www.rideforever.co.nz/gear_up/choose.html
12. De Rome, Liz (2005), Report on the review of the Victorian Motorcycle
Road Safety Strategy, 2002-2007, Prepared by LdeR Consulting for
VicRoads, Melbourne.
13. EEVC (1993), Report on Motorcycle Safety, European Experimental Vehicles
Committee, Brussels.
14. EN 13594:2002 Protective gloves for professional motorcycle riders.
Requirements and test methods. European Committee for Standardization,
Brussels.
15. EN 13595-1:2002 Protective clothing for professional motorcycle riders.
Jackets, trousers and one piece or divided suits. General requirements.
European Committee for Standardization, Brussels.
16. EN 13595-2:2002 Protective clothing for professional motorcycle riders.
Jackets, trousers and one piece or divided suits. Test method for determination
of impact abrasion resistance. European Committee for Standardization, Brussels.
17. EN 13595-3:2002 Protective clothing for professional motorcycle riders.
Jackets, trousers and one piece or divided suits. Test method for determination
of burst strength. European Committee for Standardization, Brussels.
18. EN 13595-4:2002 Protective clothing for professional motorcycle riders.
Jackets, trousers and one piece or divided suits. Test methods for the
12
determination of impact cut resistance. European Committee for Standardization,
Brussels.
19. EN 13634:2002 Protective footwear for professional motorcycle riders.
Requirements and test methods. European Committee for Standardization,
Brussels.
20. EN 1621-1:1998 Motorcyclists' protective clothing against mechanical impact.
Requirements and test methods for impact protectors. European Committee for
Standardization, Brussels.
21. EN 1621-2:2003 Motorcyclists' protective clothing against mechanical impact.
Motorcyclists back protectors. Requirements and test methods. European
Committee for Standardization, Brussels.
22. Feldkamp, G. & Junghanns, K. (1976), The typical traffic accident in adolescents:
The motorcycle accident - some epidemiologic features and the effectiveness of
safety helmets and clothing. Proceedings of IRCOBI Amsterdam, 1976, p75-80.
23. Hell, W. & Lob, G. (1993), Typical injury patterns of motorcyclists in different
crash types- Effectiveness & improvement of countermeasures. In proceedings 37th
Annual Proceedings Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine,
77-86, Nov 4-6, San Antonio, Texas.
24. Hurt, H. H. Jr., Ouellet, J.V. & Thom, D.R. (1981), Motorcycle Accident Cause
Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Final Report to the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration, US Department of Transportation, PB
81-206443, 81-206450.
25. Hurt, H. H. Jr., Ouellet, J.V. & Wagar, I.J. (1981), Effectiveness of motorcycle safety
helmets and protective clothing, Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the
American Association for Automotive Medicine, San Francisco pp 223-235.
26. Otte, D. & Middelhauve, V (1987), Quantification of protective effects of special
synthetic protectors in clothing for motorcyclists, 1987 International RCOBI
Conference of the Biomechanics of Impacts, Birmingham, pp.1-18.
27. Otte, D.; Schroeder, G. & Richter, M. (2002), Possibilities for load reductions using
garment leg protectors for motorcyclists - a technical, medical and biomechanical
approach, 46th Proceedings, Association for the Advancement of Automotive
Medicine, 367-385.
28. Ouellet, J. (1982), Environmental Hazards in Motorcycle Accidents, 26th Annual
Proceedings American Association for Automotive Medicine, Ottawa. pp117-129
29. Pegg, S.P. & Mayze. T.D (1983), Burn Injuries associated with motorcycles, Burns
Vol. 9(40) pp 288-91 March.
30. Schuller, E.; Beier, G. & Spann, W. (1982), Effectiveness of protective clothing in
Munich area motorcycle accidents, Proceedings 26th Stapp Car Crash
Conference, Ann Arbor, SAE Technical Paper 821162, pp.259-267.
31. Schuller, E.; Beir, G. & Spann, W. (1986), Disability and impairment of protected
and unprotected motorcycle riders, Proceedings of the SAE International
Congress and Exposition - Crash Injury Impairment and Disability: Long
Term Effects, Detroit, MI, Warrendale, PA, pp.51-56, ISBN 0-89883-932-7.
32. Woods, R.I. (1996), Specification of motorcyclists' protective clothing designed to
reduce road surface impact injuries. Performance of Protective Clothing: Fifth
Volume ASTM STP 1237, James S. Johnson and S.Z. Mansdorf, Eds., American
Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, 1996. pp 3-22.
13
33. Woods, R.I. (1996), Testing of protective clothing for motorcyclists: validation of
laboratory tests by accident studies, Performance of Protective Clothing: Fifth
Volume ASTM STP 1237, James S. Johnson & S.Z. Mansdorf, Eds., American
Society for Testing and Materials, Philadelphia, pp 43-56.
34. Zettas J.P.; Zettas P. & Thanasophon, B. (1979), Injury patterns in motorcycle
accidents, Journal of Trauma-Injury Infection & Critical Care. 19(11), 833-6.
... 2010). Although PPE often cannot prevent major injuries in high impact crashes; it can reduce torn ligaments, broken bones and gravel rash following minor crashes (De Rome and Stanford, 2006;De Rome et al., 2004). Additionally, the use of bright and fluorescent clothing * Corresponding author at: School of Social Sciences, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, UK. ...
... Step 4 82.6% reported never wearing leather suits. With these typically marketed around motorcycle racing, such advertising may not appeal to typical riders in terms of convenience, cost or style (De Rome and Stanford, 2006). Middling usage was found for high-visibility wear (as in Christmas et al., 2009;Reeder et al., 1996). ...
... With only 10.1% of respondents identifying themselves as scooter riders, a more diverse population would be required to determine any firm comparisons. Larger PPE uptake in this sample may be indicative of high visibility wear availability for the scooter market (De Rome and Stanford, 2006), accompanied by more negative motorcyclist views towards its use. Additionally, riding the sample's average mileage per annum of 3001-6000 miles was associated with increased PPE uptake. ...
... However, not all studies support such findings [15,20] requirement. Helmet use aside, some studies indicate low risk perception and reluctance to wear protective clothing among scooter and moped riders when compared with other PTW riders [21]. ...
... The low reported and observed rates of use of protective clothing by scooter and moped riders [21,28] were supported by the comments of focus group members. The barriers to use of protective clothing appeared to be a lack of perceived danger of moped or scooter riding, perceptions that it did not suit the image of moped and scooter riding and cost (relative to vehicle purchase cost). ...
... Designing and constructing cost-effective motorcycle protective garments would reduce heat stress and satisfy the primary concern of safety. 48,49 Besides motorcycle clothing hampers heat exchange between the environment and the body of the wearer. Motorcycle riders prefer wearing leather clothes as they are appealing to eyes, trendy, and possess a good protection rate. ...
Article
Motorcycle protective clothing is designed to protect motorcyclists from injuries during accidents. It helps to protect the motorcyclist and pillion passengers during the collision and acts as a barrier between the rider’s skin and tarmac surface. Soft tissue trauma is common in motorcycle accidents and protective clothing can protect the soft tissue of the riders up to a certain extent during accidents. Though there are many reasons for road accidents and injuries, the reasons such as uncomfortable clothing, thermally inefficient protective clothing during hot climatic conditions, and ineffective performance of the personal protective equipment (PPE) are also to be considered seriously. Motorcycle clothing is specially designed in such a way that it could give better protection against impact and abrasion during the collision. An increase in the usage of the motorcycle has also in turn increased the crash statistics. This paper deals with the significance of motorcycle clothing, materials, test standards, and their performance characteristics. As per the review results, most of the motorcycle protective clothing has failed to meet out the quality standard protocols. Impact resistance, abrasion resistance, thermal comfort, and ergonomics are the major areas where more focus is required. Design of appropriate fabrics assuring requisites of motorcycle clothing is very challenging and extensive research is still intended in these areas.
... That is 43% of all the vehicle crash fatalities in Sri Lanka for 2017, which is the highest compared to other vehicle types (Dias et al., 2018). Research indicated that half of all possible motorcycle injuries could be reduced or prevented using effective protective clothing (Rome and Stanford, 2006). As the number of motorcycle crashes in Sri Lanka continues to increase with the growing number of motorcycle registrations annually (Dias et al., 2018), the need for a high-performance air jacket is proportionally increased. ...
Article
Purpose Motorcycle is one of the popular modes of transport in developing countries. However, the statistics related to accidents show that motorcycles are the most vulnerable vehicles. Research studies have revealed that half of all the possible types of motorcycle injuries could be reduced or prevented using effective protective clothing. Facts and figures emphasize that this is high time to develop a safety jacket for motorbike riders. This paper aims to develop an innovative, integrated automatic air-inflated tubeless jacket to prevent major injuries in fatal accidents. Design/methodology/approach Two accelerometers integrated near the front axle, an angle sensor and the electronic control unit (ECU) were used to detect the collision or accident. The sensors were fixed on the bike and connected with the ECU via a bluetooth device that was always at the activated stage. The fused sensors were emulated with the ECU under laboratory conditions. The trigger signal generated by the crash discriminant algorithm triggered the chemical reaction to generate N2 gas and inflate the tubeless safety jacket. Findings Under laboratory conditions, it was found that the signal generated by the ECU unit ejected approximately 15 litres of N2 gas in volume to fill the jacket within 100 milliseconds, which was less than the approximate estimated falling time of the rider 120 milliseconds. Originality/value The existing developments of airbag systems in motorbikes are mounted on the motorbikes' frame, following the airbag systems in automobiles. These developments cannot fully protect the rider due to differentiation in crash dynamics and respective positions of the rider at the point of impact. Though few safety jackets and airbag vests are developed, the airbag deployment is activated when rider and motorbike separated during a collision using a tether-triggering mechanism. The authors designed the jacket so that inflation is activated not only by crash sensors but also on the fusion of multiple sensors based on a crash discriminative algorithm. The airbag deployment mechanism is incorporated with the jacket and acts as a safety jacket during a collision.
... At this point, information studies have a world-wide importance with submission of scientific data through articles, publishing etc. on protective performance in order to provide conscious purchasing. motorcycle clubs, associations and organizations have taken an action and it is aimed to raise awareness for a large mass through national or international congresses [2]. ...
... It is well-known that motorcycles are a very popular means of transportation and involve a relatively high risk associated with falls and collisions. This fact indicates the necessity of using special protective clothing, equipped with a shock-absorbing system, i.e., system of protectors, the task of which is to protect the rider against harm or injuries [1,2]. These materials provide protection in the event of a fall or an impact with other vehicles or objects. ...
Article
Full-text available
Currently, there is a wide range of materials for motorcyclists available on the market that have a significant ability to absorb impact energy. Understanding the aging processes of materials is crucial for guaranteeing the long-term durability and safety of a new product. For this reason, the effect of accelerated aging on the mechanical and structural properties of the multifunctional materials used in commercial protectors was analyzed. The accelerated aging considered in this study simulated 3 years of use under real conditions. Then, DMTA and FT-IR research, as well as impact tests, were carried out on the commercially available protectors for motorcyclists, before and after the accelerated aging processes. Structural analysis using FT-IR showed no significant changes in the structure of the polymers used for producing the protectors. The DMA test results are consistent with those obtained from the impact study. Both methods showed that the samples maintain their protective properties, after accelerated aging. All of the examined protectors show that an increase in force is transferred through the sample, after the accelerated aging processes, but they still provide protection, according to the ISO standard.
... 255 Temperature 256 Because of the low level of protection offered by fairings (depending on the type of PTW), 257 PTW riders are highly exposed to weather conditions. Nevertheless, the appropriate 258 equipment for riding a PTW helps to limit the effects of bad weather on the level of 259 fatigue occurring while riding 82 . Riding at 80 Km.h -1 in an ambient temperature of 12°C 260 with a PTW corresponds to prolonged exposure to a temperature less than 0°C 83 . ...
Article
In recent years, the role of "sleepiness at the wheel" in the occurrence of accidents has been increasingly highlighted with several national and international public health campaigns based on consensual research publications. However, one aspect of this phenomenon is rarely taken into account, i.e., the risk of sleep-induced accidents while riding powered two-wheelers (PTWs). PTWs are indeed involved in a high percentage of fatal accidents mostly with young male riders. The effects of sleepiness may be different in drivers and riders, partly because riders may be stimulated more by the road environment. But riders (differently from drivers) have also to maintain continuously a balance between their own stability and the need of following the road, even when they are directly exposed to adverse climatic conditions. We, therefore, gathered the limited scientific literature on this topic and tried to analyze how riders may be affected differently by sleepiness. Finally we provide some suggestions as to how this question may be better approached in the future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
... The majority of motorcycle crashes do not involve high speeds nor impacts with fixed objects (EEVC 1993, Noordzij et al. 2001, ACEM 2004. However it is apparent that many riders who wear helmets do not fully protect the rest of their bodies (Hurt et al. 1981a, Reeder et al. 1996, ACEM 2004, de Rome and Stanford 2006, Wishart et al. 2009). Given the increasing human and economic costs of motorcycle injuries around the world, there is a clear need for research to establish the effectiveness of motorcycle protective clothing. ...
Conference Paper
Background: Apart from helmets, little is known about the effectiveness of motorcycle protective clothing in reducing injuries in crashes. The study aimed to quantify the association between usage of motorcycle clothing and injury in crashes. Methods and findings: Cross‐sectional analytic study. Crashed motorcyclists (n=212, 71% of identified eligible cases) were recruited through hospitals and motorcycle repair services. Data was obtained through structured face‐to‐face interviews. The main outcome was hospitalization and motorcycle crash‐related injury. Poisson regression was used to estimate relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals for injury adjusting for potential confounders. Results: Motorcyclists were significantly less likely to be admitted to hospital if they crashed wearing motorcycle jackets (RR=0.79, 95% CI: 0.69‐0.91), pants (RR=0.49, 95% CI: 0.25‐0.94), or gloves (RR=0.41, 95% CI: 0.26‐0.66). When garments included fitted body armour there was a significantly reduced risk of injury to the upper body (RR=0.77, 95% CI: 0.66‐0.89), hands and wrists (RR=0.55, 95% CI: 0.38‐0.81), legs (RR = 0.60, 95% CI: 0.40‐0.90), feet and ankles (RR=0.54, 95% CI: 0.35‐0.83). Non‐motorcycle boots were also associated with a reduced risk of injury compared to shoes or joggers (RR=0.46, 95% CI: 0.28‐0.75). No association between use of body armour and risk of fracture injuries was detected. A substantial proportion of motorcycle designed gloves (25.7%), jackets (29.7%) and pants (28.1%) were assessed to have failed due to material damage in the crash. Conclusions: Motorcycle protective clothing is associated with reduced risk and severity of crash related injury and hospitalization, particularly when fitted with body armour. The proportion of clothing items that failed under crash conditions indicates a need for improved quality control. While mandating usage of protective clothing is not recommended, consideration could be given to providing incentives for usage of protective clothing, such as tax exemptions for safety gear, health insurance premium reductions and rebates.
Article
Full-text available
The paper mobilises the distinctive notion of ‘sites of qualification’ as a means of providing an expansive understanding of how innovative products are designed, produced and brought to consumer markets. We focus on the development of a new safety product for motorcyclists, the rider airbag, in which inflatable body protection is either incorporated into, or worn underneath, textile jackets and leather suits. The paper follows the airbag’s trajectory across a range of different sites, including lead firms and their territorial settings; MotoGP racetracks, mobile laboratories and professional riders; courts of law; and showroom and archive locations. The paper’s sites of qualification approach expands understandings of innovation by constructing a dialogue between two sets of literatures: actor-network approaches to the qualification of products and narratives of economic innovation as emerging through clusters of agents and firms within industrial districts. The conclusion emphasises that sites of qualification are integral to the ways in which technical products such as the rider airbag are made social. OPEN ACCESS at https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17530350.2020.1788624
Article
Full-text available
The paper deals with studying the relationships between the motorcyclists’ thinking about proper behaviour and their actual behaviour in the traffic. The impact of some control variables, such as riders’ age, experience, driving history, and engine cubature, on actual behaviour, is also addressed here. For the purpose of research, two additional questionnaires were applied besides the well-known Motorcycle Rider Behaviour Questionnaire (MRBQ). To examine the causal relations between all-important latent factors present in this study, the structural equation model was designed. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were also engaged in the analysis and the statistical modelling process. The results show that the higher awareness about alcohol danger and benefits of protective equipment and helmet can noticeably contribute to the bigger traffic safety. Besides, from the results is evident that the control variables are in most cases also significantly interrelated with the actual behaviour factors. The findings of this research could be important for the planning of better traffic safety strategies for the motorcyclists to decrease the fatalities and related costs and traumas. First published online 29 February 2016
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Almost 800 motorcyclists across NSW were surveyed in a project was funded by the MAA. The objectives were to obtain information on crash experience and other issues associated with risk perception and management by motorcyclists, and to develop a profile for designing and delivering motorcycle safety information. Responses suggested that the most effective channels of communication within the motorcycling community are through the club network, motorcycle magazines and the internet. It was apparent that a substantial proportion of respondents were actively involved in ensuring their own safety through post license training, accessing safety information and use of protective clothing. Two thirds had been involved in at least one motorcycle crash during their riding career. Of those who had crashed: 65% reported injury to themselves or to a pillion passenger; 55% had been in crashes with another vehicle and 47% had been in single vehicle crash. There were differences in crash experience according to age and type of motorcycle currently ridden. When asked what they could have done to have avoided the crash, almost one third of all respondents said that there was nothing they could have done. However respondents who had undertaken some form of rider training were less likely to have believed there was nothing they could have done than were those who had no formal training. Over two thirds (69%) of respondents to the survey had undertaken some form of training in the last 4 years and 33% had completed some form of advanced rider training. The results of the survey have stimulated discussion about safety issues and attitudes to riding amongst rider groups. The survey report provides a useful resource of information to guide researchers and road safety authorities in the most effective means by which they can communicate with motorcyclists.Almost 800 motorcyclists across NSW were surveyed in a project was funded by the MAA. The objectives were to obtain information on crash experience and other issues associated with risk perception and management by motorcyclists, and to develop a profile for designing and delivering motorcycle safety information. Responses suggested that the most effective channels of communication within the motorcycling community are through the club network, motorcycle magazines and the internet. It was apparent that a substantial proportion of respondents were actively involved in ensuring their own safety through post license training, accessing safety information and use of protective clothing. Two thirds had been involved in at least one motorcycle crash during their riding career. Of those who had crashed: 65% reported injury to themselves or to a pillion passenger; 55% had been in crashes with another vehicle and 47% had been in single vehicle crash. There were differences in crash experience according to age and type of motorcycle currently ridden. When asked what they could have done to have avoided the crash, almost one third of all respondents said that there was nothing they could have done. However respondents who had undertaken some form of rider training were less likely to have believed there was nothing they could have done than were those who had no formal training. Over two thirds (69%) of respondents to the survey had undertaken some form of training in the last 4 years and 33% had completed some form of advanced rider training. The results of the survey have stimulated discussion about safety issues and attitudes to riding amongst rider groups. The survey report provides a useful resource of information to guide researchers and road safety authorities in the most effective means by which they can communicate with motorcyclists.
Article
Four test methods have been developed for testing motorcycling clothing: a belt abrasion test, a pressure burst test, an impact cut test and the belt abrasion test with impact. These have been used on the same pieces of materials as were previously tested on a dummy in a simulated accident. The laboratory test methods allow the protective qualities of the materials to be correctly ranked. This was not true with methods used previously. The test methods can also distinguish between crash-damaged clothing that proved protective in a crash and that which did not. The methods can be used to devise specifications for motorcycling clothing, and to develop novel materials for such clothing.
Article
Crash damage on motorcycling clothing has been analysed on 100 suits. The information has been used to define four zones on clothing that require different performance characteristics. Zone 1 is subject to severe impacts and abrasion, Zone 2 to severe abrasion and stress damage, and Zone 3 is at moderate risk of abrasion damage. Zone 4 is at low risk of road contact, and important ergonomic features such as ventilation panels may be fitted here. Performance requirements of the four zones are proposed based on the Belt impact abrasion test, burst testing and impact cut testing. Impact protection and its specification are discussed.
Chapter
There has been a resurgence of motorcycling in Western countries in recent years which has resulted in an increased number of motorcycles on the road and an increased number of crashes and casualties. However there is not a simply linear relationship between the numbers of riders and the numbers of crashes. It is apparent that there are substantial differences between the riding environments in different countries. In the USA between 1991 and 2001, the number of registered motorcycles increased by 17% and the number of riders killed increased by 14%. Over the same period in Australia, the number of registered motorcycles increased by 24%, but the motorcycle fatalities actually decreased by 6%. Over a similar period in the UK between 1993-2001, motorcycling traffic increased by 28% but the number of motorcycle fatalities rate rose by only 7%. This was far less than the US rate but worse than Australia. It is worth remembering that it was during the nineties that mandatory novice rider training was introduced in some states in Australia. In addition the USA, unlike Australia and the UK does not have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws. Motorcycling in Australia is safer now than it was during the last peak of interest in the 1980s, however it still has the highest casualty rate of any form of transport. In addition while Australia’s record for motorcycle safety appears relatively good, particularly when compared to the USA, it is poor in contrast to our general record of excellence in road safety advances. In 2001 Australia ranked 9th best for road safety amongst 27 OECD nations, but 9th worst for motorcycle safety. Motorcycle fatalities were almost double the median for OECD nations (6.2 vs 3.6 per 10,000 registered vehicles). By contrast Australia’s fatality record for all road users was better than the OECD median (1.4 vs 1.8 per 10,000 registered vehicles).
Article
A retrospective study of 260 cases of motorcycle accidents which occurred over a 4 1/2 year period is reported. Approximately 8% died of their injuries. The vulnerability of the tibia to open fractures is noted, and the frequent association of these open injuries with severe contamination and devitalization of tissues resulting in a high complication rate. Severely comminuted intraarticular fractures of the distal tibia and radius were numerous, and one is tempted to name the injury the "motorcycle radius." Traumatic amputations were few and all involved the lower extremity. Fractures of the cervical and thoracic spine numbered only one each, but in each instance severe neurologic sequelae ensued. A plea is made for more accident prevention measures including protective equipment and driver education specific for the motorcyclist.
Article
A four month study was conducted at Southampton General Hospital of the injuries sustained by motorcycle riders, 104 of whom (60%) returned a postal questionnaire about the accident, rider and motorcycle. The study confirmed that injuries to the lower limbs are a major cause of morbidity and the long time spent in hospital. Further investigation identified specially vulnerable areas. In particular, for 'severe' lower limb injuries, the 'shin' region was identified as the most vulnerable area, and the force producing the injury was generally applied to the other side of the other side of the limb by another vehicle. 'Crash bars' were found to be ineffective in reducing either the incidence or severity of lower limb injury.
Article
This paper deals with the results of a thirteen-and-a-half year survey of motorcycle accident patients admitted to the burns unit at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. There were 38 patients in the study. Population and analysis of data in three consecutive four-and-a-half year periods shows changing patterns in aetiology, management and morbidity. Cycle design and the use of suitable clothing were identified as reversible aetiological factors.