Prevention of injuries

PTW’s provide little protection against injuries in the case of an accident. Injuries to the legs are frequent, but injuries to the head are more severe even though wearing a helmet.

Based on knowledge of injury mechanisms there are several ways to prevent injuries

  • Helmets and clothing are devices worn by the PTW rider to provide protection in case of a collision with an object, be it the own PTW, other vehicle, road surface or fixed object. The main purpose of the helmet is to absorb energy from a direct collision of the head, whereas clothing cannot be expected to absorb much energy, but prevents direct contact of body parts.

Studies show that head injuries would have been much more frequent if helmets had not been worn. From the point of view of preventing injuries there is no reason to exclude any group of PTW users from compulsory wearing a helmet. Wearing protective clothing would prevent many minor injuries.


Other devices such as neck and knee braces or back protectors are specially designed for riders on a race track or off road.


  • Other devices may be integrated into the design of the PTW. Accident studies show that collisions between the front of the PTW and the side of a car are frequent, with many riders falling before the collision as well as many riders departing from the PTW during the collision. Most attention to devices to prevent injuries in these cases has been given to leg protection and air bags. The purpose of such devices may be quite different: from preventing direct contact with collision objects to controlling speed and trajectory of the rider when departing the PTW during a collision. These devices are still experimental.
  • Another way to prevent injuries is to equip the collision objects with energy absorbing devices or smoothening their surface..Accident studies have shown that injuries from single vehicle accidents are more severe when hitting a fixed object like a guard rail. Devices have been designed to be retrofitted to existing guard rails to prevent injuries to motorcyclists. So far the design of cars has had little attention in respect to reducing injuries of PTW riders.
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