Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Publication Source

Traffic Accidents and Safety: New Research


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, road crashes are one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States. The Healthy People 2020 has indicated that accidents are a major public health issue. Most motor-vehicle related events resulting in injury, disability, or death are predictable and preventable. Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans aged 1 to 44 years and a leading cause of disability for all ages, regardless of sex, race/ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Although motorcycles represent approximately 3% of all registered vehicles in the United States, motorcycling accounts for more than 13% of highway traffic fatalities. While fatalities normally represent a small percent of other motor vehicle occupants, fatalities can be as high as 40% for the motorcyclists when involved in accidents (or traffic crashes as typically referred to by transportation safety professionals).

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable in crashes due to their lack of protection like enclosed vehicles do to motor vehicle occupants, so they are more likely to be severely injured or killed. Therefore, there is a motivation among stakeholders to decrease the injury severity of motorcyclists. A clear understanding of the factors influencing injury severity levels due to motorcycle crashes and the related evidence prevention strategies is of paramount importance. When examining a topic of motorcycle injury severity, it is important to keep into consideration of different issues that include the definition and concept of injury severity, trends in motorcycle crashes, motorcycle-related policies and laws, knowledge of risk and protective factors.

The main purpose of this chapter is to discuss the risk factors and protective factors related to injury severity of motorcycle crashes in the US. Important aspects related to motorcycle crashes’ injury severity such as methodological challenges related to conceptual clarity and measurement are discussed. In addition, implications for education, research, practice and policy including laws and enforcement are highlighted so that the overall motorcycle safety situation could be improved.

Inclusive pages




Document Version



The final proof of this chapter is provided for download in compliance with publisher policies on self-archiving and with author and publisher permission. Permission documentation is on file.

Publisher's website


Nova Science Publishers

Place of Publication

Hauppauge, NY


motorcycle, motorcycle rider, motorcyclist, crash severity