Role of motorcycle type in fatal motorcycle crashes
Teoh, Eric R.; Campbell, Marvin
Journal of Safety Research
Motorcycles vary in design and performance capability, and motorcyclists may select certain motorcycle types based on driving preferences. Conversely, motorcycle performance capability may influence the likelihood of risky driving behaviors such as speeding. Both mechanisms may affect fatal crash risk when examined by motorcycle type. Although it was not possible to estimate the effect of each mechanism, the current study analyzed fatal crash data for evidence of motorcycle type differences in risky driving behaviors and risk of driver death.Methods:
Street legal motorcycles were classified into 10 types based on design characteristics and then further grouped as cruiser/standard, touring, sport touring, sport/unclad sport, supersport, and all others. For each motorcycle type, driver death rates per 10,000 registered vehicle years and the prevalence of fatal crash characteristics such as speeding were analyzed. Differences among motorcycle types concerning the effect of engine displacement were examined using Poisson regression.Results:
Overall, driver death rates for supersport motorcycles were four times as high as those for cruiser/standard motorcycles. Fatally injured supersport drivers were most likely to have been speeding and most likely to have worn helmets, but least likely to have been impaired by alcohol compared with drivers of other motorcycle types. The patterns in driver factors held after accounting for the effects of age and gender. Increased engine displacement was associated with higher driver death rates for each motorcycle type.Conclusion:
Strong effects of motorcycle type were observed on driver death rates and on the likelihood of risky driving behaviors such as speeding and alcohol impairment. Although the current study could not completely disentangle the effects of motorcycle type and rider characteristics such as age on driver death rates, the effects of both motorcycle type and rider age on the likelihood of risky driving behaviors were observed among fatally injured motorcycle drivers.Impact on industry:
Certain motorcycle designs, particularly supersport motorcycles, are associated with increases in risky driving behaviors and higher driver death rates. At present, there are no proven countermeasures for this situation. However, existing countermeasures such as helmet laws and automated speed enforcement could have a substantial benefit.
Injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in the approaching turn crash configuration
Peek-Asa, Corinne; Kraus, Jess F.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
A common crash configuration involving a motorcycle and another vehicle is termed the 'approaching turn collision', which occurs when a vehicle turns left into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Although research has explained some causes of approaching turn collisions, few studies have described injury outcomes specific to approaching turn collisions involving motorcycles. All fatally injured and a sample of over 3500 nonfatally injured motorcycle riders treated in one of 28 hospitals in 11 California counties were included in this analysis if the crash occurred in 1991 or 1992 and both a police crash report and matching medical diagnoses were available. Injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in approaching turn collisions were compared with injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in other crash types. Injuries occurring when the motorcycle was the left-turning vehicle were compared to those occurring when the car is the left-turning vehicle. Riders in approaching turn collisions had increased lower extremity and abdominal injuries, but less frequently had head, chest, and facial injuries than riders in other crash types. The average ISS score, percent fatally injured, and average number of days in the hospital were greater for riders in approaching turn collisions than riders in other crash types, except the head-on collision. Possible strategies to reduce injuries from approaching turn collisions are discussed. The complexity of turning actions, particularly judgements of speed, could potentially be an intervention point to reduce crash occurrence.
Analysis of fatal motorcycle crashes: crash typing
Preusser, David F.; Williams, Allan F.; Ulmer, Robert G.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
There were 2074 crashes fatal to a motorcycle driver in the United States during 1992. A computer program was developed to convert Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data for these crashes into standard format English language "crash reports". The computer generated reports were analyzed and crash type categories were defined. Five defined crash type categories accounted for 1785 (86%) of the 2074 crash events: Ran off-road (41%); ran traffic control (18%); oncoming or head-on (11%); left-turn oncoming (8%); and motorcyclist down (7%). Alcohol and excessive speed were common factors associated with motorcyclist crash involvement. Left turns and failure to yield were common factors associated with the involvement of other motorists. Suggested countermeasures include helmet use and enforcement of speed and impaired driving laws.
Lower extremity injuries from motorcycle crashes: a common cause of preventable injury
Peek, Corinne; Braver, Elisa R.; Shen, Haikang; Kraus, Jess F.
The Journal of Trauma
Lower extremity injuries are among the most common injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in crashes and often lead to extended and costly medical treatment and permanent disability. This study characterizes lower extremity injuries in a group of 700 motorcycle riders in crashes in Los Angeles County from July 1, 1988, through October 31, 1989. Motorcycle crash fatalities (n = 163) were identified through the Los Angeles County Coroner's office, and nonfatally injured riders (n = 537) were identified at four of the ten level I and level II trauma centers in the county. Lower extremity injuries were diagnosed in 301 (56%) of nonfatally injured and in 75 (46%) of fatally injured riders. Fractures were the most common lower extremity injury and were diagnosed in 52% and 42% of riders with nonfatal and fatal injuries, respectively. Over a third of all fractures were to the tibia or fibula. Drivers and passengers did not differ in their risk for lower extremity injuries. Multiple-vehicle collisions resulted in a higher risk of lower extremity injuries than did single-vehicle collisions. The highest risk for lower extremity fractures was observed among riders in broadside collisions in which another vehicle struck the motorcycle (risk ratio = 2.7). Modifications in vehicle design and rider apparel may prevent some lower extremity injuries in motorcycle crashes.
Geographic distribution of fatal motorcycle crashes in Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties from 1983 to 1985
Arzemanian, Shakeh; Salatka, Michael; Anderson, Craig L.; Kraus, Jess F.
Journal of Safety Research
The geographic distribution of fatal-injury motorcycle crashes for 1981 and newer model-year vehicles during 1983-85 in 3 Southern California counties was determined. Exact crash sites were plotted on California Department of Transportation enlarged county road maps. The distributions of fatal crashes by location for racing and street-type motorcycles were generally similar. Racing prior to the fatal crash was identified in only 13 of the 441 crashes. Although the number of crashes for racing-design motorcycles compared with street-design vehicles was excessive, based upon 1985 registrations, there were no specific geographic locales with excess crashes by motorcycle design. The data suggest that the elevated crash occurrence of racing-design motorcycles does not predominantly result from their use for racing on canyon and mountainous roads.
Features of fatal- and severe-injury motorcycle crashes according to vehicle design type, California, 1985
Kraus, Jess F.; Anderson, Craig L.; Hemyari, Paricheh; Zador, Paul L.; Sun, Guowen
Journal of Traffic Medicine
The arrival of a new type of high-performance racing design motorcycle coincided with an unusually large increase in fatal motorcycle crashes in California from 1983 to 1986. This report compares driver, vehicle, and crash characteristics among crashes involving motorcycles of different designs using California crash data for 1985. No systematic evidence that injury crashes involving racing and street design motorcycles differed by time, day, or location of occurence was found, and motorcycles did not appear to have different exposure miles by either design type.
Motorcycle licensure, ownership, and injury crash involvement
Kraus, Jess F.; Anderson, Craig L.; Zador, Paul L.; Williams, Allan F.; Arzemanian, Shakeh; Li, Weichang; Salatka, Michael
American Journal of Public Health
The interrelationships among motorcycle licensure, ownership, and injury crash involvement were investigated in a sample of 2,723 motorcycle drivers severely or fatally injured in California in 1985-86. Owners of motorcycles in such crashes ("driver-owners") were less likely to have valid licenses than a random sample of motorcycle owners who had not been in crashes (42 vs. 57 percent). Thirty-three percent of the crash-involved drivers had valid motorcycle driver's licenses; 39 percent were operating motorcycles they did not own ("driver-nonowners"). Driver-nonowners were less likely to be validly licensed than driver-owners (20 percent vs. 44 percent). The licensing rate of crash-involved driver-nonowners was 15 percent if the owner was also unlicensed. Rates of valid licensure were lowest among the youngest drivers. Virtually no crash-involved driver-nonowners under age 21 were licensed in cases in which the owner was also young and unlicensed.
Fatal and severe injury scooter and moped crashes, California, 1985
Salatka, Michael; Arzemanian, Shakeh; Kraus, Jess F; Anderson, Craig L.
American Journal of Public Health
Fatal and severe injury crashes for scooters and mopeds in California for 1985 were compared with those for motorcycles during the same year. Scooters had more than twice the injury crash rate of mopeds but one-half the rate of motorcycles. Age of injured drivers and crash patterns for scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles varied significantly.
Motorcycle crashes and compliance with license regulations
Mounce, Nancy H.; Pezoldt, V.J.; Brackett, R. Quinn
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Motorcycle design and crash injuries in California, 1985
Kraus, Jess F.; Arzemanian, Shakeh; Anderson, Craig L.; Harrington, Steve; Zador, Paul L.
Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine. Second Series
The overall objective of this study was to compare motorcycle-crash injury rates for different types of motorcycles in California. Rates of fatal and severe nonfatal injury motorcycle crashes, according to model type, were ascertained to determine crash injury rates for specific groups of motorcycles characterized by design category and performance class.
Motorcyclists, pedestrians, and alcohol
Baker, Susan P.
Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety
In connection with highway travel, the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of highway deaths and the number and severity of injuries that are at least partly attributable to alcohol and other drugs. It is important that we should keep sight of the wide variety of available approaches. They can be divided into four categories, none of which is sufficient by itself, none of which should be excluded: first, reductions in the amount or changes in the patterns of use of alcohol and other drugs; second, reductions in the degree of impairment produced when alcohol and other drugs are used; third, reductions in the amount of travel or changes in the characteristics of travel by people who are impaired by alcohol and other drugs; and fourth, reductions in the probability of injury and severity of its consequences when impaired people use our roadways, either as vehicle operators or as pedestrians.
Alcohol and motorcycle fatalities
Baker, Susan P.; Fisher, Russell S.
American Journal of Public Health
A series of 99 fatal motorcycle crashes in Maryland was studied retrospectively, using police and medical examiner records. Blood alcohol concentrations were determined for 62 motorcycle drivers; measurable amounts of alcohol were found in two-thirds (41), and one-half (31) had illegally high concentrations of 100 mg/100 ml or more. The police report mentioned alcohol in only 9 instances. High blood alcohol concentrations were found most commonly among drivers age 20-34.
Trends in deaths due to motorcycle crashes and risk factors in injury collisions
Kraus, Jess F.; Franti, Charles E.; Johnson, Stephen L.; Riggins, Richard S.
Accident Analysis and Prevention
In the past 25 years, the numbers of registered motorcycles in the United States and California have increased about 1000 and 1100%, respectively. In the same period, the motorcycle collision death rate per million population more than doubled. The purposes of the study were to examine time trends in deaths due to motorcycle collisions, examine a methodologic problem in the study of motor vehicle collision death rates, and to determine driver and vehicle factors which may discriminate in the production of motorcycle crash related injurites. With the exception of 1974, the increase in the ratio of registered motorcycles per 100,000 population in the United States corresponded to an increase in the crude death rate per million population. A similar pattern was also found in California. Stepwise discriminant analysis was used to determine an optimum set of factors associated with motorcycle collision injuries. The analysis indicated that for male drivers age was the single factor most significantly related to motorcycle collision injuries. Other factors, in addition to age, which added to the power of the discrimination included number of prior motorcycle driving violations, frequency of motorcycle use, number of prior motorcycle crashes, motorcycle drivers' training, and height of the drivers.
Injury patterns in motorcycle collisions
Drysdale, Walter F.; Kraus, Jess F.; Franti, Charles E.; Riggins, Richard S.
The Journal of Trauma
This report describes the incidence, nature, and severity of trauma for injuried and medically treated motorcyclists in Sacramento County, California in 1970. Using official police reports, hospital admission, and emergency-room medical records, 1,273 persons with a confirmed medically treated motorcycle injury were identified. Since less than 39% of all injured motorcyclists were identified in this study by use of official police reports only, statistics which rely solely on these reports greatly underestimate the frequency of motorcycle collision injuries in the community. The annual injury incidence was 2.0 per 1,000 population, with peak incidence injury rate for male drivers 18 years of age. Slightly more than 4% of all registered motorcycles were involved in an injury-producing collision in a single year. Almost 45% of injured motorcyclists suffered a serious injury, with injuries to the musculoskeletal system in the form of fractures being the most common. The average length of hospital stay was 12 days, and three-fourths of those injured indicated one or more days of disability. Physicians should be alert to the fact that persons injured in motorcycle collisions commonly sustain multiple fractures and other serious injuries.
Risk factors in motorcycle collision injuries
Kraus, Jess F.; Franti, Charles E; Johnson, Stephen L; Riggins, Richard S.
Proceedings of the 19th Annual Conference of the American Association for Automotive Medicine
The purpose of this study was to examine time trends in motorcycle crash related deaths, to examine methodologic problems in the study of motor vehicle collision death rates and to evaluate the interrelationships between driver and vehicle factors which may contribute to the production of motorcycle injuries. Information on deaths, population sizes and number of registered motorcycles was obtained from the U.S. Census, the National Safety Council, and California Departments of Motor Vehicles, Finance, and Health. Data on injured motorcycle drivers in Sacramento County, California were obtained from hospital records, California Highway Patrol, Sacramento City and County police reports, self-administered questionnaires as well as driver records from the State Department of Motor Vehicles. With the exception of 1974, the average annual increase in the ratio of registered motorcycles per 100,000 population in the U.S. since 1963 corresponded to an increase in crude death rate. A similar pattern between use of motorcycles and crude death rates is found also in California. Stepwise discriminant analysis was used to identify interrelationships between factors associated with motorcycle collision injuries. The analysis indicated that for male drivers age was the single most significant factor related to motorcycle collision injuries. Other factors included: number of prior motorcycle crashes, number of prior motorcycle driving violations, frequency of motorcycle use, motorcycle drivers' training, and height of the drivers. Among drivers more than 24 years of age, the discriminating factors included age, number of prior motorcycle crashes, larger engine size of the motorcycle, use of eye protection, more frequent use of motorcycles, more experience driving an automobile and drivers' training. Prospective studies are clearly needed to show the precise levels of risk associated with the factors identified from this retrospective study of motorcycle crashes. The literature on motorcycle injuries is notable for the absence of specific data on the incidence of injuries. Recent estimates on the incidence of such injuries range from 350,000 for 1973 as reported by the National Safety Council to 450,000 in 1968 as reported by the National Center for Health Statistics. The paucity of specific information on factors contributing toward the incidence of motorcycle collision injuries, as well as our own experiences in Sacramento County, California, prompted us to initiate an intensive retrospective investigation of motorcycle-related injuries and deaths. Our findings on these studies in Sacramento County are reported earlier, and have documented, (1) patterns of injfuries sustained in motorcycle collisions, (2) factors associated with the incidence of these collisions, and (3) factors contributing to the severity of injuries sustained.
Some epidemiologic features of motorcycle collision injuries
Kraus, Jess F.; Riggins, Richard S.; Franti, Charles E.
American Journal of Epidemiology
Male drivers sustained relatively more serious motorcycle collision injuries than did male passengers, female drivers, or female passengers. For male drivers, severityof injury was related to age. The relative frequency of serious head injury was highest for drivers not wearing helmets who were involved in collisions at low or high speeds. Severity of injury was related to speed at the time of collision but not in all types of collisions. Factors associated with the incidence of collisions were not identical to those related to the severity of the injury sustained.