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.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.