Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Death of a Motorcycle Rider in 1.42 Seconds

We all know that a small vehicle generally has a significant disadvantage during most accident situations. Lack of mass and compact physical dimensions often account for serious injuries under conditions where, had they been in a larger vehicle, the injuries would not have been so significant.

What About the Poor Motorcyclist?
He operates in a stream of traffic with hazards far more extreme than those confronting the occupants of a small vehicle. He has minimal structural vehicle protection and often comes into direct physical contact with the opposing vehicle. Unlike the motorist, who is enveloped in the protective shield of his passenger
compartment, it is the motorcyclist's body that serves as the energy absorbing structure. His fate so often depends on the nature of the impacted structure and the chance orientation of his body as it strikes the vehicle/object.

Consider the Effects of a 40mph Impact into the Side of an Emerging Car:
As the motorcycle contacts the front door of the car the inertia of the front wheel is such that it penetrates 6 inches into the door

15ms (milliseconds):
The wheel contacts its engine. The rider starts to slide forwards on the seat.

The motorcycle frame experiences a deceleration of 39g. The front wheel continues to crush further into the door of the car and it collapses as the engine starts to penetrate the side plane of the car.

The maximum penetration reaches 34 inches. The motorcyclist's knees are buried into the side of the car whilst he is still in a seat posture after sliding forward onto the fuel tank.

His legs sustain a deceleration of 71g. The pivotal action of the knee contact rotates the rider to a standing position bringing his chest forcibly against the 'A' pillar.

He experiences a deceleration of 109g. The sudden deceleration of the chest flails the head forwards over the top of the car; the helmet strap stretches.

The face strikes the roof at 105g. Following this the helmet latch disengages depriving the rider of head protection during any subsequent collision with the car or road surface. The motorcycle and rider fall motionless to the road.

TIME ELAPSED - 1.42 seconds


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