Motorcycle impacts into longitudinal traffic barriers such as w-beam guardrails often result in severe or fatal rider injury. Countermeasures exist to mitigate the injury consequences of these crashes, but research suggests that these devices are cost-effective only at locations predisposed to this crash type. Unfortunately, little information is available on specific roadway characteristics of these crashes. The objective of this study was to determine specific roadway characteristics associated with motorcycle-to-barrier crashes in the context of other motorcycle crash types and identify features of locations experiencing multiple barrier crashes. Data included a total of 1,511 police reported motorcycle crashes coupled with detailed roadway data from two U.S. states, Washington and Ohio. Compared to all other single-vehicle motorcycle crashes, motorcycle impacts with barriers were found to be significantly more likely on smaller radius horizontal curves and sections with grade in excess of 3%. With regard to the sole quantitative recommendation of placing countermeasures on horizontal curves with radii fewer than 820 feet, agencies may want to carefully consider whether direct application of this criterion is prudent given the available data.
Journal of Transportation Safety & Security
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Gabauer, Douglas J.. "Characterization of Roadway Geometry Associated With Motorcycle Crashes Into Longitudinal Barriers." (2016) : 75-96.