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The influence of wire rope barriers on motorcyclists
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The implementation of wire rope barriers on 2+1 roads has significantly improved road safety performance on the Swedish road network. The main purpose of wire rope barriers is to prevent oncoming traffic from head-on collisions by redirecting errant vehicles back onto the carriageway in a controlled manner causing, at most, damage to the vehicle. However, motorcyclists have raised concerns that wire rope barriers pose more danger to them than any other crash barriers. There is not though sufficient accident data and scientific knowledge to support this concern. Nonetheless, it is necessary to determine what influence this type of barrier has on the motorcyclist, especially with the increasing implementation of wire rope barriers and the growth in motorcycle traffic year on year. This is the objective of this study. The first part of this study introduces general motorcycle safety. Then information on wire rope barriers and their implementation in the rural road network in Sweden is provided. Further on, the study attempts to assess the safety of roads with wire rope barriers with respect to motorcyclists based on accidents contained in the accident data. The main part of this study concerns an assessment of the influence of wire rope barriers on motorcycles, in particular how they affect their speed, performance and choice of travel routes. These were measured by means of traffic volume and speed data analysis, interviews and questionnaires and site study measurements. Finally, future actions that ought to be taken are proposed at the end of the study. The accident analysis showed that wire rope barrier roads were substantially less safe for motorcycles than they were for any other road users. Moreover, the majority of interviewed motorcyclists were critical of the barriers and felt insecure when riding along them. The results showed that despite their concerns motorcyclists did not tend to avoid roads with wire rope barriers. In terms of speed performance the results were unclear. On one hand there seems to be evidence that road barriers influence the speed at which motorcyclists travel. The site study and statistical data showed that on roads with wire rope barriers motorcycle speeds were rather concentrated around the speed limit. In addition on equivalent roads without barriers motorcycle speeds were rather spread out and in many cases either substantially exceeded the speed limit or were much below it. On the other hand, nearly three quarters of interviewed motorcyclists stated that barriers had no influence on their speed. In conclusion, this study showed that wire rope barriers could be perceived as a safety issue for motorcyclists. However, this has to be set against the fact that there is not sufficient statistical information available on motorcyclists in any of the areas analysed. Furthermore, there has been no in-depth study of wire rope barrier safety with respect to motorcyclists. Motorcycles are also not included in approval tests of wire rope barriers (or any other crash barriers). Growing motorcycle traffic and barrier implementation and the feeling of insecurity of riders are all factors that significantly justify more research to be carried out in this area.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Technology, Motorcycles, Wire rope barriers, Traffic safety, Traffic, speed, Mitträcken, Trafiksäkerhet
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-49374ISRN: LTU-EX--05/233--SELocal ID: 6b8e08c2-7caa-4c3e-b4c7-ac4623ba6532OAI: diva2:1022721
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Civil Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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