Accident characteristics

Effective countermeasures are based on a thorough understanding of the accident causes and the circumstances under which these accidents happen. Accident reports provide valuable information in this respect.

In these accident reports you find information on:

  • Type of PTW (moped vs. motorcycle)
  • Type of situation (built up vs. non built up and intersection vs. between intersections)
  • Road users involved (single, PTW+car, other)
  • Movements of PTW and car relative to situation and to each other
  • Severity of damage/injuries
  • A combination of these variables is needed to describe the character of PTW accidents.

Some studies include reports of both moped and motorcycle accidents while others deal with motorcycle accidents only.


Although different studies are likely to use different sampling methods or different ways to characterise the accident, three frequent accident scenarios reappear.

  • Scenario 1: motorcycle/moped rider having a single vehicle accident, riding between intersections, losing control in a curve.
  • Scenario 2: motorcycle/moped rider approaching an intersection, being hit by a car driver coming from a side road who did not notice the motorcycle in time.
  • Scenario 3: a car driver turning left and not noticing the motorcycle coming from the opposite direction.

In the scenarios 2 and 3 a large majority of car drivers should have given right of way to the PTW, indicating problems with the perception of the PTW. In all three scenarios the motorcyclist may have been speeding. 

These scenarios give a description of the situation and events before the actual accident. This is followed by a sequence of events resulting in injuries of the PTW rider.


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