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Type: Conference paper
Title: Abrasion resistance of motorcycle protective clothing worn by Australian motorcyclists
Author: Meredith, L.
Clarke, Elizabeth,
Fitzharris, M.
Baldock, M.
de Rome, L.
Brown, J.
Citation: Proceedings of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference, 2015, pp.1-5
Publisher: Australasian College of Road Safety
Publisher Place: Canberra
Issue Date: 2015
Conference Name: Australasian Road Safety Conference (ACRS) (14 Oct 2015 - 16 Oct 2015 : Gold Coast, Qld)
Statement of
Lauren Meredith, Elizabeth Clarke, Michael Fitzharris, Matthew Baldock, Liz de Rome and Julie Brown
Abstract: Motorcycle crashes represent a significant health burden to the community, accounting for 22% of serious casualties on Australian roads each year. In addition, it is well known and accepted that motorcyclists are significantly overrepresented in crashes given that motorcycle usage accounts for only one percent of vehicle kilometres travelled (ATC, 2011; BITRE, 2009). Soft tissue injuries are the most common injuries experienced by crashed motorcyclists (NSAI, 1998, 2003, 2010). Protective clothing has been developed to help prevent these injuries, yet the performance of protective clothing in Australia is still variable (de Rome et al., 2011). In Australia, while there are no design standards for motorcycle protective clothing, there are non-mandatory Australian Guidelines for manufacturing. However, the guidelines specify the use of an abrasion testing machine which is not designed for the purpose of testing motorcycle protective clothing. Therefore, at present in Australia, there are no mechanisms in place to help maintain a high quality of performance. There is a European Standard for motorcycle protective clothing and this Standard specifies the general requirements for clothing intended to protect the rider against mechanical injury. This Standard (EN13595) was developed from work undertaken by Woods who examined crash damage to 100 motorcycle suits (99 leather and 1 Kevlar) and observed where damage most frequently occurred as well as the type of damage. Based on the damage distribution, a clothing template was developed that specified four zones, each with different levels of protection dependent upon the clothing’s ability to resist the main types of damage: burst, cut, abrasion and tear. (Woods, 1996a, 1996b). It is still unknown how well the performance of materials in the laboratory tests of EN13595 relates to the performance of clothing in real world motorcycle crashes. With a larger variety of fabrics currently available to motorcycle riders, the performance of clothing in the real world may have varied since Woods developed the Cambridge Abrasion machine in 1996. There is a need to validate the observations on which the EU Standard requirements are based, particularly using a greater range of materials and more modern materials. Additionally, there has been no study since the work of Woods (Woods, 1996b) that examines the adequacy of the test methods. The objective of this study was to address this gap and, as abrasion resistance is considered to be the highest priority compared to other damage types (Meredith, Brown, Ivers, & de Rome, 2013), this study set out to determine whether the approach taken to assess abrasion resistance in the EU Standard is appropriate. Specifically, the aim of this study was to examine the relationship between the abrasion resistance performance of the clothing worn by the motorcycle riders when tested as required in EN13595 and the probability of real world injury outcome.
Rights: Copyright: Authors retain copyright of papers presented at the Australasian College of Road Safety Conferences.
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Centre for Automotive Safety Research conference papers

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