When they hit a crash barrier, riders are 15 times more likely to be killed than car occupants. In a crash, barrier support posts can worsen injuries by five times.
Most UK crash barriers are designed to protect car drivers and passengers when a car hits a barrier; it will redirect a car away from a hazard and slow it down over a short distance. The car, seat belts and air bags help to minimise injury. For motorcyclists, hitting a crash barrier can mean serious injury or even death as the rider's body takes the full impact.
Writing in the summer issue of the IAM members' magazine Advanced Driving, IAM chairman Alistair Cheyne OBE said: "Roads in general and crash barriers in particular are largely designed with four or more wheels in mind. The needs of more vulnerable motorcyclists must become a priority.
"Britain leads the world on road safety, but lags behind on this issue. Existing standards and guidelines for road infrastructure – and barriers in particular – must be changed so they take proper account of motorcyclists."