A Proposal To Reduce Mortality And Morbidity In Pennsylvania Motorcyclists

A Proposal to Reduce Mortality and Morbidity
In Pennsylvania Motorcyclists

Submitted XXXX

Currently in the United States there are two groups in the arena of motorcycle safety equipment. One group regards safety equipment as one’s individual rights and freedoms. That group has lobbied state governments since 1976 when congress struck down the national helmet requirement. Many members of that group hold to the “biker” image and fight mandatory safety standards. The other group is comprised mainly of healthcare professionals and researchers that have seen the results brought on by a lack of safety equipment.

That there is still any debate about the safety of helmets can be attributed to the federal government’s lack of focus and funding for motorcycle safety. It has been 25 years since the federal government made the last large study of motorcycle safety with the “Hurt Report” of 1981 1. Since then motorcycle usage has grown exponentially and so have fatalities. Funding for a new study is included in the 2006 Transportation Bill passed by congress.

Any program that seeks to lower the societal costs of motorcycle accidents must identify the causes of accidents and the injuries that occur. Some selected findings from the Hurt Report of 3600 motorcycle accidents occurring in the Los Angeles area 5:

1.Approximately ¾ of motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle.
2.Vehicle failure accounted for less than 3% of the studied motorcycle accidents.
3.In single vehicle accidents, rider error was the precipitating factor in 2/3 of the cases.
4.Weather is not a factor in 98% of motorcycle accidents.
5.Most motorcycle accidents involve a short trip with the a ...
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