Topics: Motorcycle, Road transport, Motorcycle safety Pages: 19 (2595 words) Published: January 13, 2014
Journal of Society for Transportation and Traffic Studies (JSTS) Vol.4 No.3


Motorcycles have caused a considerable number of road accidents in most Asian countries’ road networks. This indicates that motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable road users throughout these networks. For the sake of better motorcycle safety in Asia, this paper provides an overview of the onroad motorcycle usage pattern, the reality of safety situation, and the challenges to identify the needed actions to improve safety in these countries.

KEYWORDS: motorcycles, motorcycle safety, road accidents
As a basic means of individual transport,
motorcycles play an important role in transport
in most countries in Asia. However, this type of
vehicle poses serious problems in terms of road
safety. Statistics shows that the world’s total
number of motorcycle deaths in 2010 was
297,434; seventy-eight percent of which
occured in Asian countries (WHO, 2013).
Despite this fact, the number of motorcycles in
Asian countries is on the increase. Such
increase may change the current motorcycle
use pattern and inflence motorcycle safety in
Asia in the near future. This paper provides a
closer look at the current motorcycle use
pattern and safety so as to develop suitable

measures for the case of Asia motorcycle
1.1 Definition and scope
In this paper, the following terms are employed
with the particular meanings as follows.
- Motorcycle refers to mopeds, scooters,
two- or three-wheeled motorcycles, offroad motorcycles, mini bikes, and pocket bikes;
- Motorcyclist is either the rider or the


A Comprehensive review of Motorcycle safety situation in Asian countries

The focus of this paper is the on-road use and
safety of motorcycles in Asian countries.

(5) Lack of physical protection
Unlike other forms of motorized transport,
there is very little protection for motorcycle
riders and passengers. When crashes do occur,
they often have very severe consequences,
especially at higher speeds or in situations
where larger vehicles are involved (from www.

1.2 Noticeable characteristics of motorcycles
(1) Agility in traffic
The great maneuverability and small size of
motorcycles allow them to operate in spaces
and situations that are not suitable for cars
(Grava, 2003). Motorcycles are highly
maneuverable vehicles that can be steered
around as well as rapidly slowed to avoid
objects and obstacles in their path (Shuman et
al., 2003).

(6) Personal danger
The high speed that can be reached by
motorcycles, coupled with the lack of any
protection for the users and exacerbated
frequently by the irresponsible traffic behavior
of some drivers, has led to a dismal safety
record (Grava, 2003). Per vehicle mile traveled,
motorcyclists are over 30 times more likely
than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic
crash (NHTSA, 2013).

(2) Accessibility and ease of operation
As mechanical transportation equipment,
motorcycles are relatively inexpensive and
affordable to a much larger population cohort
than automobiles. Operation skill requirements
do not extend much beyond an ability to ride a
bicycle (Grava, 2003). Accessibility and ease
of operation are important factors in locations
where significant traffic congestion exists.




Motorcycles are one of the most affordable
forms of motorized transport in many parts of
the world and, for most of the world’s
population, they are also the most common
type of motor vehicle. There are around 455
million motorcycles in use worldwide in 2010,
or about 69 motorcycles per 1,000 people and
around 782 million cars, or about 118 per 1000
people (WHO, 2013). Most of the motorcycles,
approximately 79% are in the Asia.

(3) Instability
Contrary to cars and other...

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WHO (2013) Status Report on Road Safety 2013. http://www.who.int/
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