The Safety of Vulnerable Road Users in the Southern, Eastern and Central European Countries (The “SEC Belt”)

  • Published: European Transport Safety Council, 2005
  • Authors: A. Avenoso and J. Beckmann
  • Date Added: 04 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 20 Mar 2013
  • Format: pdf


Policy Paper


This ETSC Policy Paper on the protection of vulnerable road users in the EU member states where the risks to road users are higher is part of ETSC’s publications series. In addition to the periodic ETSC Monitors, this series comprises the ETSC Reviews, the ETSC Policy Papers and the ETSC Fact Sheets.

Key Findings:

Investigations have shown that improved side underrun protection systems could reduce fatalities to pedestrians and cyclists by about 45 per cent by filling the open space between wheels on heavy goods vehicles.

Of all road users, motorcyclists have by far the highest injury risks. If an RTI occurs, 98 per cent of motorcyclists sustain injuries.

Injuries to the legs of the motorcyclist occur in approximately 80 per cent of all RTIs.

In RTIs in which the motorcyclist collides into another party, there is only a secondary impact of force on the legs. In this case, the head and upper torso are the first to make contact with the other party. In this situation, crash test results have indicated that motorcycle leg protectors, while effectively protecting the lower extremities, could have a negative effect on the risk of head injury by influencing the path of movement.

Airbag studies have been conducted in past relating to the potential for airbags to reduce injuries to motorcyclists involved in frontal impacts. However, concern has been raised about the limited potential in some RTIs and their negative effect in others.

Full framed chassis motorcycles have shown that it is possible to greatly enhance the passive safety of motorcyclists without jeopardizing the manoeuvrability and small space requirements of motorcycles. Furthermore, the absence of helmet requirements helps motorcyclists to have full lateral vision as other road users.


LGV Underrun, Motorcyclist Protection


Policy paper based on European statistics.