March 31 2010

Personal Protective Equipment can help motorcycle, scooter and moped riders reducing the effects of accidents. Nonetheless the benefits of good quality motorcycling clothing are still widely underestimated.

With the aim of encouraging a wider take-up of protective gear ACEM, the Motorcycle Industry in Europe, has released a booklet in seven languages with indications on which equipment to choose. This brochure has been developed within the eSUM Project ensuing from the cooperation between ACEM and four European motorcycling capitals (London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome). The goal is the identification, practical demonstration and adoption of measures for the safer use of powered two-wheelers in the inner-city traffic.

While much is being done on aspects such as vehicle safety features, training and awareness raising, improvements in road safety can be achieved also by promoting protective motorcycling wear adapted to the type and the use of vehicle.

Most riders use helmets. However moped riders and commuters tend to neglect the benefits of PPE in terms of safety and comfort. In Mediterranean countries, for example, due to their warm climates, users are still widely unaware that good apparel can combine comfort and safety.

The goal of this booklet is to provide some simple guidelines supported by scientific evidence to help increasing the number of motorcyclists equipped with appropriate protective clothing. According to evidence gathered by MAIDS*, if involved in an accident, riders wearing appropriate protective gear are likely to reduce injuries. A «Protection Factor» for every piece of garment indicates the percentage of MAIDS accidents, in which the protective gear has mitigated or even better prevented injuries. Knowledge about the benefits of wearing the correct apparel will help users in making the right choice and contribute to their safety.

The "Protective Equipment for Riders" booklet can be downloaded  by at: in English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish and Greek.

This awareness-raising campaign precedes the 4th Road Safety Action Programme, which should be issued on the 12th of May by the European Commission. The great disparity between Member States in road safety performance and risk exposure for PTW riders shows that with the same line-up of vehicles there are still countries where riding a PTW is considerably more risky than elsewhere in the EU. Closing this gap must be one of the main challenges of the next Road Safety Action Programme.

The publication of the Personal Protective Equipment guide is part of ACEM's commitment to road safety, which follows an integrated approach looking at human factors, vehicle design and infrastructure, seeking to involve policymakers at European, National and local level and other relevant stakeholders.