Contrasting Crash- and Non-Crash-Involved Riders: Analysis of Data from the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study

Motorcycle crashes and fatalities remain a significant public health problem as fatality rates have increased substantially as compared to other vehicle types in the United States. Analysis of causal factors for motorcycle crashes is often challenging given a lack of reliable traffic volume data and the fact that such crashes comprise a relatively small portion of all traffic crashes. Given these limitations, on-scene crash investigations represent an ideal setting through which to investigate the precipitating factors for motorcycle-involved crashes. This study examines motorcycle crash risk factors by employing data recently made available from the Federal Highway Administration Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS). The MCCS represents a comprehensive investigative effort to determine the causes of motorcycle crashes and involved the collection of in-depth data from 351 crashes, as well as the collection of comparison data from 702 paired control observations in Orange County, California. This dataset provides a unique opportunity to understand how the risk of crash involvement varies across different segments of the riding population. Logistic regression models are estimated to identify the rider and vehicle attributes associated with motorcycle crashes. The results of the study suggest that motorcycle crash risks are related to rider age, physical status, and educational attainment. In addition to such factors outside of the rider’s control, several modifiable risk factors, which arguably affect the riders’ proclivity to take risks, were also found to be significantly associated with motorcycle crash risk, including motorcycle type, helmet coverage, motorcycle ownership, speed, trip destination, and traffic violation history.

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  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The Standing Committee on Motorcycles and Mopeds (ANF30) peer-reviewed this paper (19-05819). © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2019.
  • Authors:
    • Chawla, Hitesh
    • Karaca, Ilker
    • Savolainen, Peter T
  • Publication Date: 2019-7


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01707800
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 11 2019 3:04PM