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Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes:
A Literature Review

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1. Report No.
DOT HS 809 242
2. Government Accession No.
3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

Costs of Injuries Resulting from Motorcycle Crashes:
A Literature Review

5. Report Date

November 2002

6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

Bruce A. Lawrence, Wendy Max, and Ted R. Miller

8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Calverton Office Park
11710 Beltsville Drive, Suite 300
Calverton, Maryland 20705-3102

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Office of Traffic Injury Control Programs
Safety Countermeasures Division
400 Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Survey conducted Nov. 8, 2000 to
Jan. 21, 2001
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes

Joey W. Syner served as the NHTSA Contracting Officer=s Technical Representative for this project.

16. Abstract

PIRE analysts reviewed 25 motorcycle safety studies, mostly from the 1990s, on the costs of injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. Most of the studies employed data from a state, locality, or medical institution, and seven linked data from multiple sources - e.g., police crash reports and hospital records - with varying degrees of success. Other studies drew data from multiple sources in computing aggregate estimates of crash costs.
Most of the studies focused on either the benefits of wearing helmets or the impact of state helmet laws. These consistently found that helmet use reduced the fatality rate, the probability and severity of head injuries, the cost of medical treatment, the length of hospital stay, the necessity for special medical treatments, and the probability of long-term disability. A number of studies examined the question of who pays for medical costs. Only slightly more than half of motorcycle crash victims have private health insurance coverage. For uninsured patients, a majority of medical costs are paid by the government. A few studies examined the frequency of alcohol use by motorcycle crash victims. They found high rates of alcohol use and intoxication, particularly among unhelmeted crash victims.
While the literature has widely explored acute medical costs, research is sparse in the areas of long-term medical and work-loss costs, which are potentially much greater. More research is needed on these subjects to provide a more comprehensive picture of the full cost of motorcycle crash injuries.

17. Key Words

Survey, Occupant Protection, Air Bags

18. Distribution Statement

Document is available through the
National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22161

19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price