A Comparison of Contributing Factors between Alcohol Related Single Vehicle Motorcycle and Car Crashes

Alcohol related crashes have accounted for approximately 35% of fatal crashes per year since 1994 nationwide, with approximately 30% involving impairment over the legal blood alcohol content limit of 0.08%. Educational campaigns and law enforcement efforts are two components of multi-faceted programs aimed toward reducing impaired driving. It is crucial that further research be conducted to guide the implementation of enforcement and educational programs. This research attempts to provide such guidance by examining differences in alcohol-involved crashes involving motorcycles and passenger cars. Prior safety research has shown that motorcyclists follow a significantly different culture than the average passenger car operator. These cultural differences may be reflected by differences in the contributing factors affecting crashes and the severity of the resulting injuries sustained by the driver or motorcyclist. This research is focused on single-vehicle crashes only, in order to isolate modal effects from the contribution of additional vehicles. The crash data provided for this study are from the Ohio Department of Public Safety from 2009 through 2012. The injury severity data are analyzed through the development of two mixed logit models, one for motorcyclists and one for passenger car drivers. The models quantify the effects of various factors, including horizontal curves, speeds, seatbelt use, and helmet use, which indicate that the required motor skills and balance needed for proper motorcycle operation compounded with a lack of mechanical protection make motorcyclists more prone to severe injuries, particularly on curves and in collisions with roadside objects. The findings of this study have been incorporated into combined motorcycle and sober driving educational safety campaigns. The results have shown to be favorable in supporting national campaign messages with local justification and backing.


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  • Accession Number: 01535004
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 18 2014 4:18PM