Analysis of factors that increase motorcycle rider risk compared to car driver risk

Accid Anal Prev. 2012 Nov;49:23-9. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.07.001. Epub 2011 Jul 28.


As in other parts of the Western world, there is concern in New Zealand about increasing popularity of motorcycles because of potential increases in road trauma. This study sought to identify important factors associated with increased risk for motorcyclists to inform potential policy approaches to reduce motorcyclist injury, such as changes to motorcyclist licensing, training and education. Using data extracted from a register of all New Zealand licensed motor vehicles that were matched to crash data, statistical models were fitted to examine patterns of motorcycle risk in comparison with small cars. These showed generally elevated risks for motorcyclists compared to cars, but particularly elevated risks for motorcycle owners aged in their 20s or who lived in more urbanised settings. In crashes, motorcyclists have little protection from injury, putting the motorcyclist at high risk of injury. When comparing new motorcycles with new cars, the odds of fatal or serious injury to a motorcycle rider involved in an injury crash were almost eight times the odds for a car driver.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality
  • Accidents, Traffic / prevention & control
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Automobiles*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles*
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Urban Health
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control
  • Young Adult