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Environmental Factors: First Response Table of ContentsHomenhtsa

Roadway Characteristics

Other Vehicle Design

First Response

Intelligent Transportation Systems


Despite the efforts to prevent motorcycle crashes, they still occur. Providing rapid and appropriate emergency medical response is vital to limit deaths and disability resulting from these crashes.

Motorcyclists have predictable injury patterns that emergency medical personnel may not always recognize.

Issues, such as proper helmet removal technique, are still misunderstood and may be incorrectly handled by those who are first to aid an injured motorcyclist.

While there are motorcycle-specific training programs for first responders and Emergency Medical Technicians, these are not widely used and have not been integrated with local trauma systems.


Emergency medical personnel training must include information specific to the medical needs of injured motorcyclists.

We want motorcyclists and others to have available and take advantage of motorcycle-specific first response training programs.


Support the Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) Agenda for the Future (NHTSA, 1996) and identify opportunities to integrate principles of motorcycle safety with its core content.

The motorcycle community should also work with national Emergency Medical Services, emergency medicine, and trauma groups to disseminate information and aid in developing training on the initial care of injured motorcyclists to likely first responders. This training should include issues such as helmet removal and other life-support techniques for injured motorcyclists.


• Integrate a motorcyclist treatment component in emergency medical personnel training.

• Integrate a motorcyclist treatment component in first-aid/bystander care training and encourage motorcyclists to obtain this training.

• Identify opportunities to utilize the EMS Agenda for the Future to promote motorcycle safety.

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