1) Prevent the creation of the hazard in the first place:
- a) Eliminate production of motorcycles
- b) Do not ride a motorcycle
- b) Prevent unauthorized use of motorcycles, especially by youths
- Of the 10 strategies, some are much more realistic than others. While the most efficacious would undoubtedly be to eliminate all use of motorcycles, that is unlikely to occur at this point.
2) Reduce the amount of hazard brought into being:
- a) Limit maximum speed/power of motorcycles
- b) Increase safety standards on motorcycles - improved braking, turning capability, etc.
- Limiting the speed of motorcycles and increasing safety standards would both be effective at decreasing risk of motorcycle related fatality. However, it is doubtful that speed could be limited to an extent necessary to save lives, due to consumer backlash. However, increasing safety standards on motorcycles is both feasible and appropriate.
3) To prevent the release of a hazard that already exists:
- a) Greater enforcement of requirement of licensure to ride motorcycle
- b) Graduated licensure for youths
- c) Increase motorcycle conspicuity - noticeable jackets/helmets, use of headlights/taillights
- d) Increase automobile driver awareness of motorcycle riders via training or technology to alert them to the presence of nearby motorcycles
- e) Increase visibility of hazards
- f) Properly maintain all roads.
- g) Verify that streets are swept clean of dust/sand/gravel
- h) Warn rider of inclement weather conditions
- To the contrary of the last two strategies, many of the factors listed in this category are already in use, and the ones that are not used or are not widespread yet, are quite feasible, effective and appropriate.
4) Modify Rate/spatial distribution of release of hazard:
- a) Enforce laws to reduce speeding and reckless driving
- b) Decrease speed limits
- Greater enforcement of speeding and reckless driving would likely effective and feasible, however, it would require monetary investment in law enforcement. Decreasing the speed limit is likely not feasible, as evidenced by historical backlash due to decreased speed limit to 55 mph.
5) Separate in time or space the hazard and that is to be protected:
- a) Do not allow motorcycle riding during inclement weather
- b) Do not allow motorcycle riding during the night
- c) Have motorcycle only lanes/roads
- d) Do not place signs/posts/poles at the side of roads
- Due to concerns regarding infringements on personal liberty, prohibiting night riding and riding in inclement weather would be unlikely to pass. However, educating motorcycle riders regarding these hazards may be useful. Additionally, the capital investment needed in motorcycle only lanes would likely be prohibitive. Efforts to removes signs and poles at the sides of roads have already begun, though this will be a long process.
6) Separate the hazard from host by interposition of material:
- a) Mandate helmet use
- b) Motorcycle air-jackets
- c) Place compressible material at sides of roads to buffer falls
- d) Pad obstacles at the side of the road like signs, poles, posts, etc.
- e) Pad outsides of automobiles and trucks
- Mandatory helmet laws are an issue that should be reconsidered, as they have the potential for significant decreases in morbidity and mortality. Though they haven't been invented yet, other varieties of personal protective equipment, like air-jackets, may be a useful idea in the future. Other efforts to buffer accidents by padding obstacles, vehicles and the roadside are not widely feasible.
7) To modify the basic quality of the hazard:
- a) Reduce speed limit or reduce speed of the motorcycle itself.
- b) Decrease roll over risk - by adding a 3rd wheel
- c) Use breakaway design for poles at side of road
- As noted above, lowering the speed of a motorcycle could decrease the basic quality of the hazard. However, for reasons listed above, this is not really feasible on a large scale. One consideration is that many new motorcycles on the road are scooters, which do have an absolute upper limit of 35-45 mph. Adding a third wheel for stability has already occurred, but this is unlikely to achieve widespread use, due to entrenched ideologies. Also, breakaway signs at roadsides are feasible, but are likely of lower benefit for motorcycles compared to cars.
8) To make that to be protected more resistant to damage from the hazard:
- a) Increase the overall health and resilience of motorcycle riders through proper diet, strength training, smoking cessation, etc.
- b) Prohibit motorcycle use in those of elevated age or with severe chronic disease
- Point A is a wonderful idea, which should be encouraged for all Americans. However, we live in an increasingly unhealthy culture, and because of this, this is a rather unfeasible option. Point B is completely unfeasible, due to the need to preserve personal liberty.
9) Countering the damage that has already been done:
- a) Institute a strong emergency medical technician (EMT) program
- b) First responder training for general public
- c) Ensure immediate access to medical care
- d) Efficient emergency reporting system
- e) Automatic crash reporting systems installed into motorcycles
- f) Available ambulance and helicopter system for evacuation
- g) Maintaining reserves of blood products for acute resuscitation
- h) Cooling protocol for those with traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
- While these strategies are directly dependent upon the location an accident occurs, they are quite appropriate, and deserve emphasis. Nonetheless, it is important to realize that these strategies are after the fact, and thus are slightly suboptimal, especially when compared to the strategies suggested in 1-7.
10) Stabilize, repair and rehabilitate:
- a) Strong emergency department (ED) programs.
- b) Strong trauma surgery programs.
- c) High quality local hospitals.
- d) High quality rehabilitations programs.
- e) Retraining programs for those with subsequent impairment and disability
- These strategies are also post-injury. Like strategies in 9, these also are quite appropriate, though feasibility of local care is dependent on the region.