Motorcycle crash-related emergency department visits and hospitalizations for traumatic brain injury in North Carolina

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 May-Jun;30(3):175-84. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000096.


Objective: To examine statewide emergency department (ED) visit data for motorcycle crash morbidity and healthcare utilization due to traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) and non-TBIs.

Setting: North Carolina ED data (2010-2012) and hospital discharge data (2009-2011).

Population: Statewide ED visits and hospitalizations due to injuries from traffic-related motorcycle crashes stratified by TBI status.

Design: Descriptive study.

Main measures: Descriptive statistics include age, sex, mode of transport, disposition, expected source of payment, hospital length of stay, and hospital charges.

Results: Over the study period, there were 18 780 ED visits and 3737 hospitalizations due to motorcycle crashes. Twelve percent of ED visits for motorcycle crashes and 26% of hospitalizations for motorcycle crashes had a diagnosis of TBI. Motorcycle crash-related hospitalizations with a TBI diagnosis had median hospital charges that were nearly $9000 greater than hospitalizations without a TBI diagnosis.

Conclusions: Emergency department visits and hospitalizations due to motorcycle crashes with a TBI diagnosis consumed more healthcare resources than motorcycle crash-related ED visits and hospitalizations without a TBI diagnosis. Increased awareness of motorcyclists by other road users and increased use of motorcycle helmets are 2 strategies to mitigate the incidence and severity of motorcycle crash injuries, including TBIs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain Injuries / economics
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Hospital Charges / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motorcycles*
  • North Carolina / epidemiology
  • Young Adult