Topics at the Allianz Center for Technology:

Many motorcycles without modern safety technology

Every third motorcycle accident is a solo accident / Two out of three motorcycles involved in accidents without antilock brakes / Percentage of seriously injured motorcyclists among all motorcyclists involved in accidents increase


June 2022


In spring time many motorcyclists lack the necessary fitness to be safe on the road after a long period of non-driving. The start of the season also increases the volume of traffic in tourist regions and therefore the risk of accidents. The winter months of December 2020 through February 2021 represented 5 percent of motorcyclists killed and 6 percent of motorcyclists seriously injured in the 12 months from December 2020 through November 2021, jumping to 25 percent for both deaths and serious injuries in the spring months of March through May 2021. The risk increases again significantly with the start of summer in June. 2309 accidents with personal injury involving motorcyclists were recorded in May, 3396 in June 2021.


Accidents often occur without a passenger, motorcycle safety features still not popular enough  

With more than 50 percent of all two-wheeler drivers killed, motorcyclists remain the most problematic of all two-wheeler traffic. A high number of single-vehicle accidents contribute to the number of victims.  

35 percent of motorcycle accidents with personal injury occur without the participation of a third party. In 56 percent, motorcyclists are the main cause of the accident. More than 40 percent of all victims in motorcycle accidents ( bikers and other parties involved in the accident) are caused by motorcyclists losing control of their vehicle without the intervention of other road users (driving accidents). This danger can be reduced by anti-lock braking systems. 


The Allianz Center for Technology analyzed 500 randomly selected motorcycle accidents for its two-wheeler study. All types of damage, from property damage to personal injury, were included. The study showed only one-third of the motorcycles were equipped with ABS. Combination brakes and cornering ABS were also not often represented.  

The average age of the machines was more than 12 years, while the two-wheelers without ABS had an average age of more than 20 years. "Our claims data reveals that the motorcycles involved in accidents are, on average, significantly older than passenger cars," states Christoph Lauterwasser, director of the AZT. "The predominant use of motorcycles as recreational and sporting equipment means that the vehicles are still far too rarely equipped with modern braking systems or assistance functions."


Chart: Allianz Center for Technology


Accident risk also in urban areas, injury rate increases

Motorcycle accidents, however, do not only have serious effects on country roads and highways at high speed. According to Allianz analysis, 59 percent of accidents occurred in urban areas, often front-rear collisions (rear-end collisions). Far more than 40 percent of crashes occurred in inner cities, including one out of every three people who were seriously injured.  The AZT is concerned about the seriousness of injuries among motorcyclists. In 2021, according to federal statistics, serious injuries accounted for 33 percent of all crashes (that's killed plus serious plus minor injuries). For motorcycles with insurance license plates and for bicycles, it was 18 percent each. "Our study shows that the serious injury rate has been increasing for 20 years only for motorcycles. The causes urgently require further investigation," says accident researcher Jörg Kubitzki.


The AZT and Oliver Braxmeier from the Coburg University of Applied Sciences analyzed 500 randomly selected Allianz motor liability claim files of motorcycle accidents for the evaluation. The official german press release is available via following link Viele Motorräder ohne moderne Sicherheitstechnik | Allianz. The entire AZT study "Two-wheeler safety summary" with further data on motorcycle accidents can be found on the AZT homepage under the keyword road safety.