Motorcycle crashes are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, resulting in a litany of acute injuries, with the majority of deaths from head injuries (53%), and the second most common from chest or abdominal injuries (7-25%).(1) Additionally, motorcycle crash-related injuries can result in long term chronic impairment with extensive monetary cost.
Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists have a 34-fold higher risk of death in a crash than people driving other types of vehicles.(1) And while 20 percent of passenger vehicle crashes lead to injury of death, as many as 80% of motorcycle crashes cause significant morbidity or death.(2) Even more lopsided, among fatalities in two vehicle crashes involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles, 98% of the fatalities were the motorcycle riders, while only two percent were in passenger vehicle occupants. (3)
Clearly, motorcycle related injuries are an important public health concern, and a major source of injuries and death, with resultant significant social and economic burden.