The Protective Effect of a Specially Designed Suit for Motorcyclists 856125
Injuries to motorcyclists lead to permanent disability more
often than injuries to car occupants (10 percent versus 6 percent).
The use of helmets has decreased the risk of head injuries. Other
injuries leading to permanent disability are currently concentrated
on the extremities (about 70 percent). Almost all are due to
fractures located in joints where knees, elbows, shoulders, and
ankles are the modest common spots.
In a study based on 200 motorcycle accidents, it was shown the
existing protective clothing had no effect on the incidence of
fractures to knees, elbows, and shoulders. Based on that knowledge,
a new motorcycle suit was constructed. The main goal was to find a
shock-absorbing material to protect knees, elbows, and shoulders in
an accident. Confor Foam, a medium-density urethane foam, was
tested and found to possess relevant characteristics. The material
was tested under experimental conditions and found to be sensitive
to dampness and temperature with an optimal shock-absorbing effect
of +10° to +30°C. Experimental studies on the protective effect
of different kinds of leather indicated the importance of
continuous tests of leather when manufacturing motorcycle suits.
The protective effects of the safety suit have been studied in
real-life accidents during a 2-year period. A preliminary study
showed the number of fractures decreased significantly.
Bertil Aldman, Janusz Kajzer, Hans Gustafsson, Åke Nygren, Claes Tingvall
Chalmers Univ. of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, Folksam Traffic Safety Group, Stockholm, Sweden, Folksam Traffic Safety Group, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm
International Technical Conference on Enhanced Safety of Vehicles