Involvement of Unendorsed Motorcycle Operators in Fatal Crashes in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, 2005–2011

This study examines the role of unendorsed motorcycle operators in fatal motorcycle crashes and the interrelationships of endorsement status and motorcycle type with operator characteristics like riding impaired. Cases were drawn from a database tracking fatal crashes occurring within Cuyahoga County, Ohio, from 2005 to 2011. Analysis focused on 75 fatal motorcycle crashes in which the deceased motorcycle operators were male and coroner's reports, police crash reports, and license endorsement status were available. Analysis included comparison of means, chi square testing, and binary logistic regression. More than half of motorcyclists (53%) did not have motorcycle endorsements. Mean age of unendorsed riders was 36.8 years, compared to 44.2 years for endorsed riders. Motorcyclists were considered at fault in 69 percent of cases, most often due to reckless operation, failure to control, or speeding. Mean blood alcohol concentration for fatally injured motorcyclists was 0.06 percent. Marijuana was the most common drug identified in blood tests. Nonendorsement was associated with younger age, single-vehicle crash, and having a prior license suspension. Neither endorsement status nor bike type was associated with likelihood of testing positive for alcohol or drugs of abuse. Riders of sport motorcycles were more likely than cruiser/touring bike operators to be wearing helmets and less likely to be endorsed. The large proportion of unendorsed motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes in northeast Ohio highlights the need for more stringent licensing requirements that make it more difficult to ride without an endorsement and limit learner's permit renewals.


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  • Accession Number: 01526607
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2014 3:01PM