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Rider factors associated with severe injury after a light motorcycle crash: A multicentre study in an emerging economy setting

Carlos Lam, Chih-Wei Pai, Chia-Chang Chuang, Yu-Chun Yen, Chia-Chieh Wu, Shih-Hsiang Yu, Kuo-Sheng Hung and Wen-Ta Chiu

PLOS ONE, 2019, vol. 14, issue 6, 1-17

Abstract: Objective: In Taiwan, light motorcycles (LMCs) with cylinder capacities between 50 and 250 cc are widely used for daily commute. These vehicles are operated in a mixed traffic environment and prohibited on highways. In light of increasing motorcycle casualties, we conducted a multicentre study to analyse rider factors affecting injury severity. Methods: Riders hospitalised upon LMC crashes were contacted. Information on demographics, comorbidities, and riding behaviours was collected through questionnaires and linked to hospital data. The injury severity score (ISS) and length of hospitalisation (LOH) were used as injury severity measures. Results: In total, 725 patients (mean age: 37.7 years; 64% men) completed their questionnaires. Multivariate analysis results showed that age ≥ 65 years, half-face helmets, protective clothing, collisions with a bus/truck or car, and fatigue riding were risk factors for having an ISS of ≥9. Age ≥ 65 years; motorcycle crashes ≥2 times in the previous year; anaemia; rural crashes; half-face helmets; protective boots; collisions with a bus/truck, car, or a stationary object; alcohol/stimulating refreshment consumption; and fatigue riding were risk factors for increased LOH. A protective factor was individuals working in commerce. Collisions with opening car doors caused low risks of having an ISS of ≥9 and a short LOH. Conclusion: Certain factors were significantly associated with riders’ injury severity and related medical resource consumption. Because of differences in the power output, use, and riding environment, risk factors for severe injuries in LMC crashes are dissimilar from those for heavy motorcycles (cylinder capacities > 250 cc) in developed countries and deserve more attention for injury prevention. Further in-depth evaluation of significant factors based on this study’s results can yield valuable information to reduce severe injuries after LMC crashes in countries and areas with a high dependency on motorcycles, even considering the popularity of electric motorcycles.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0219132

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