The most deadly injuries to the accident victims were
injuries to the chest and head.
The use of the safety helmet is the single-most critical
factor in the prevention or reduction of head injuries.
The use of the full facial coverage helmet increases
protection, and significantly reduces face injuries.
Safety helmet use caused no attenuation of critical
traffic sounds, no limitation of precrash visual field, and no fatigue or loss
of attention; no element of accident causation was related to helmet use.
There is not liability for neck injury by wearing a
safety helmet; helmeted riders had less neck injuries than unhelmeted riders.
Approximately 50% of the motorcycle riders in traffic
were using safety helmets but only 40% of the accident-involved motorcycle
riders were wearing helmets at the time of the accident.
Seventy-three percent of the accident-involved motorcycle
riders used no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on the
unprotected eyes contributed in impairment of vision, which delayed hazard
The use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves, etc., is
effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are
frequent but rarely severe injuries.
Injury severity increases with speed, alcohol involvement
and motorcycle size.
Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol
More than half of the accident-involved motorcycle riders
had less than 5 months experience on the accident motorcycle.
Motorcycle riders with previous recent traffic citations
and accidents are over represented in the accident data.
Motorcycle riders between the ages of 16 and 24 are
significantly over represented in accidents; motorcycle riders between the
ages of 30 and 50 are significantly underrepresented. The majority of the
accident-involved motorcycle riders are male (96%).
Nearly 75% of the crashes occurring involved motorcycles
involved in a collision with another vehicle, which was mostly a passenger
The failure of motorists to detect and recognize
motorcycles in traffic was the predominating cause of motorcycle-car
accidents. The driver of the other vehicle did not see the cycle before the
collision, or did not see the motorcycle until too late to avoid the
The most frequent impact configuration is the motorcycle
proceeding straight ahead and the car making a left turn in front of the
In multiple vehicle accidents, the driver of the other
vehicle violated the motorcycle’s right of way and caused the crash in 2/3 of
Intersections are the most likely place for motorcycle
crashes with other vehicles.
The view of the motorcycle or the other vehicle involved
in the accident is limited by glare or obstructed by other vehicles in almost
half of the multiple vehicle accidents.
Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in
multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced
by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high
visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.
The typical motorcycle accident allows the motorcyclist
just less than 2 seconds to complete all collision avoidance action.
Motorcycle riders in these accidents showed significant
collision avoidance problems. Most riders would over brake and skid the rear
wheel, and under brake the front when greatly reducing collision avoidance
deceleration. The ability to counter steer and swerve was essentially absent.
About 25% of the crashes involved a single motorcycle
that either struck a fixed object and/or ran-off the road.
The likelihood of injury is extremely high is these
motorcycle accidents-98% of the multiple vehicle collisions and 96% of the
single vehicle accidents resulted in some kind of injury to the motorcycle
rider; 45% resulted in more than a minor injury.
Vehicle failure and roadway defects accounted for less than 3% of motorcycle
crashes and weather conditions were not a factor in 98% of the cases.
The typical motorcycle pre-crash lines-of-sight to the traffic hazard portray
no contribution of the limits of peripheral vision; more than ¾ of all
accident hazards are within 45 degree of either side of straight ahead.
The median pre-crash speed was 29.8 mph, and the median crash speed was 21.5
Lack of attention to the driving task is a common factor for the motorcyclist
in an accident. 29. Voluntary helmet use rates by motorcyclists in states that
do not have helmet laws are about 45-55%. With mandatory use laws, more than
90% of riders in that state wear helmets.