Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

 DOT HS 810 761

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient's Catalog No.

4. Title and Subtitle
Methodology for Determining Motorcycle Operator Crash Risk and Alcohol Impairment: Vol. I: Synthesis Report on Alternative Approaches with Priorities for Research.

5. Report Date
April 2007

6.  Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

Robert B. Voas, Ph.D.; A. Scott McKnight; David R. Thom; Terry A. Smith, Ph.D.; Professor Hugh H. Hurt Jr.; Patricia F. Waller; John W. Zellner, Ph.D.

8. Performing Organization
Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
11710 Beltsville Drive, Suite 300
Calverton, MD 20705
Phone: (301)755-2700 Fax: (301) 755-2799

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.

12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street SW.
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and
Period Covered
Final Report 09/01 – 07/03

14. Sponsoring Agency Code

15. Supplementary Notes

Dr. Marvin Levy was the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative for this project.

16. Abstract

Alcohol-involvement continues to be a prominent factor in motorcycle crashes. Automobile-driver drinking and driving has been researched extensively, and the relationship between drivers' blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) and crash risk is well-understood. Unfortunately, our current understanding of the effects of BAC on motorcycle operation is insufficient. This project examined a variety of approaches by which the effects of alcohol on motorcycle rider impairment and crash risk can be measured.  A two-volume report was prepared.

This is Vol. I: Synthesis Report on Alternative Approaches with Priorities for Research. Various research methods were reviewed in the literature (see Volume II, Literature Review), and an expert panel was convened for detailed discussion and prioritizing of possible methods. Different methods were grouped by assessed scientific value and estimated cost. Generally, it was determined that methods using existing data would be the lowest cost, but would also have the lowest scientific value. Conversely, the best data will come from new, more detailed data collection methods specifically defining the population-at-risk. Methods examined include “field” studies that collect actual highway data, and “simulator” or “closed course” studies that collect data in a controlled setting. Priorities for future research were assigned to each methodology. The highest priority methodologies were assigned to “Contemporary Case Control,” Simulation and Induced Exposure studies.

Vol. II: Literature Review Report reviewed: (1) past research on impaired motorcycle operation; (2) past research methodologies used to understand alcohol’s effects on human performance, including laboratory simulation, closed-course operation, self-report surveys, crash investigation and analysis of archival crash data; and (3) methodologies used to measure exposure in populations-at-risk, including roadside surveys. The literature review revealed a dearth of research on impaired motorcycle operation.   In addition, an in-house study of fatal motorcycle crashes was conducted and discussed in this report.

17. Key Word
motorcycle, motorcyclist, alcohol, impairment, methodology, relative-risk, blood alcohol concentration (BAC)

18. Distribution Statement
Copy available from National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22160. Also see

19. Security Classif. (of this report)

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No.
of Pages


22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)                        Reproduction of completed page authorized