Purpose: We sought to determine the etiology and pattern of motorcycle-related maxillofacial injuries among intracity road users in Nigeria.
Patients and methods: We conducted a prospective review of all patients presenting at the maxillofacial surgery units of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Ile-Ife and Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Teaching Hospital Sokoto with motorcycle-related injuries.
Results: One hundred seven patients were included in the study. A significant male preponderance was observed (P = .002). Overall, the peak age incidence was 20 to 29 years, whereas female patients had a peak age incidence of 10 to 19 years. Victims were mostly riders (50.5%) but none of them was a female. While 8.4% of accidents occurred on motorcycles with more than one pillion passenger, none of the victims reported using a crash helmet. Mechanism of accident was mostly head-on collision (39.2%). The injuries sustained were predominantly soft tissue injuries or in combination with bone injury. Bone and dental injuries were attributed mostly to falls. Facial bone injuries occurred mostly in the mandible (64 of 104). A symmetric distribution of injuries was observed in the upper, middle, and lower thirds of the face, but the middle third had the highest injury sites while the upper third had the least.
Conclusions: Motorcycle-related maxillofacial injuries among Nigerians affect males predominantly. The injuries sustained have a symmetric distribution and were mostly soft tissue injuries in isolation or in combination with bony injuries. The middle third of the face is most vulnerable. Mandatory use of safety helmets and education of cyclists on the appropriate number of pillion passengers are imperative to minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with motorcycle accidents.