A population-based study of motorcycle injury and costs

Ann Emerg Med. 1992 Mar;21(3):273-8. doi: 10.1016/s0196-0644(05)80887-x.


Study objective: To provide a population-based injury and cost profile for motorcycle injury in Connecticut.

Design: Population-based retrospective epidemiologic review of Connecticut death certificates, hospital discharge data, and police accident reports.

Results: Connecticut death certificates identified 112 deaths from motorcycle injuries for an annual death rate of 1.2 per 100,000 persons. Death rates were highest among 20- to 24-year-old men. Nonhelmeted motorcyclists were 3.4-fold more likely to die than were helmeted riders (P less than .05). An estimated 2,361 motorcycle-related hospital discharges resulted in an annual hospitalization rate of 24.7 per 100,000 persons. Head, neck, and spinal injuries accounted for 22% of all injuries. Total costs exceeded $29 million; 29% of hospitalized patients were uninsured, and 42% of the cost was not reimbursed to the hospitals.

Conclusion: Motorcycle injuries contribute significantly to Connecticut's mortality, morbidity, and medical costs. Our study suggests that a uniform helmet law would save an estimated ten lives and prevent more than 90 nonfatal injuries in Connecticut each year at a cost savings to the state of $5.1 million. These data are crucial in advocating re-enactment of motorcycle helmet laws.

MeSH terms

  • Abbreviated Injury Scale
  • Accidents, Traffic / economics
  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Criminal Law / statistics & numerical data
  • Death Certificates
  • Female
  • Head Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medically Uninsured / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms / standards
  • Sex Factors