More and more motorcycles and mopeds ("powered two-wheelers" – PTWs) are on the streets. Particularly in cities, they offer a solution to increasing traffic, scarce parking and the high cost of private-car ownership.
Users of PTWs range from leisure motorcyclists riding high-power engines to young people and professionals using mopeds for their daily commute. From 2001 to 2007, the number of motorcycles on European roads increased 34%.
Compared to cars, PTWs are less stable, less visible and offer less protection to the driver. They are involved in a disproportionately high percentage of fatal and serious accidents, most of which are in cities and caused by human error.
In 2008 for example, at least 6 800 riders were killed. Meaning that PTWs accounted for some 17% of all road fatalities but only 2% of road users. 1 in 3 victims among PTW users is under 25, but middle-aged riders too have higher accident rates than car drivers of the same age.
What is the EU doing?
EU efforts to improve the safety of driving, roads and vehicles is focusing on: