Details from a sample of fatal and non-fatal motorcyclist casualties are presented using data from several UK hospitals and police districts. The methodology is described with the following data elements being considered:-injury information with particular reference to the head, accident details including probable collision speed and impact direction, principal points of contact for both the machine and rider and also detailed examination of the helmet worn at the time of the accident. A high proportion of the sample were in the 17-19 year age group. Of the 116 casualties in the sample, eighty-three were wearing full-face helmets and the remaining thirty-three wore open face or "jet" types. Of particular interest was the correlation between the location of helmet impact and the underlying head injury. In the full-face helmet sub-set the majority of blows were to the frontal and temporal regions with virtually none to the helmet crown. It was particularly noticed that blows to the helmet facebar and sides gave rise to serious and fatal head injuries often involving the base of the skull. Fractures to this area were sometimes caused through an indirect blow via the mandible. The open-face helmet provided little facial protection and, as the majority of impacts were to this region of the head, they frequently resulted in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. Injury severity is force-related but the study suggests that the location of head impact could be a key factor. Such forces could not be determined from the accident data but must be measured from reconstructed impacts under controlled conditions. It is suggested that attention is given to critical aspects highlighted by the study. Future work in this area should extend the existing study, in particular to the very seious head injury casualties in order to confirm the above findings. The injury/accident studies must be linked with crash reconstruction and the helmet impact work in order to produce realistic head injury criteria levels. For the covering abstract of the conference see TRIS 393117. (Author/TRRL)

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 91-97

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00393125
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Institute for Road Safety Research, SWOV
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 1985 12:00AM