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Old 07-25-2003, 02:47 AM   #71
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

Geez the first post turning into Harley bashing, man this website is sad....

Oh yea it must be Harley-Davidsons fault, if they didn't make such crappy bikes this website's dialouge would be so much better.
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Old 07-25-2003, 03:00 AM   #72
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

Being in a manufacturing process field, I want to puke everyday when I here statistics spewed forth like gospel then we have brain trusts on this website say benevolent things like:

"I see overweight boomers killing themselves riding Harleys all the time, yea that’s the problem"

Anyone actually on this website analyze data? What was the increase in number of over 50 riders (or decrease)? What is the number of over 50 riders as compared to other age groups? How many miles does this demographic ride compared to other riders? What was the relative experience and circumstance in each fatality? Does location or weather conditions play a factor.

Drawing conclusions from "over 50 fatalities increase 26 percent" is just plain ignorant and is about as accurate as astrology...

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Old 07-25-2003, 04:21 AM   #73
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

Hmm, lets see, Interstate highways, most of the US highway system -- yeah it's awful to see the feds do anything.

Actually, my initial, albeit sarcastically expressed, point was that it is hypocritical for the federal government to advise more state government intervention given their own lack of finacial support for the same and the dismal state of most state budgets.

That said, many states are not even doing the minimum necessary to protect public safety on the roads by ensuring driver competence through the licensing process due in part to budget shortfalls. When the state government is not requring an eye test or even that you show up to prove you are still alive to renew your license, the licensing process has become a joke. A system so lax also invites abuse of "official" IDs. If you're suggesting that there shold be no licensing requirements for operating motor vehicles, I can't agree. I personally know at least three drivers who I believe should not be on the road due to physical impairments that could cause them to lose control of their vehicles at any time; two due to severe injuries or illnesses associated with advancing age and one due to a seizure disorder. And yes, I have attempted to get all three of these folks off the road, with temporary success for two and no success on the third. Call me a busy body if you will, but I don't care to share the road with these folks, nor do I care to share the road with completely untrained drivers or motorcyclists. In fact, I think that forcing me to take that risk to use public roads infringes my freedom. I also do not think it is unreasonable for me or the government to exercise this kind of judgment and authority. In fact, I think it is my responsibility to do so, and I believe that the government is not doing nearly enough to address this problem. The recent killing of ten people by an elderly driver plowing through a farmer's market in California is an extreme example of the dangers of failing to address these issues, but it is not an isolated case. Similar incidents of a smaller scale happen every day. I have witnessed a few myself.

As far as taking personal responsibility for your safety, I couldn't agree more. However, I think the government does have a role in encouraging and even requiring inexperienced drivers and riders to receive enough training to make them aware of the risks of operating motor vehicles, and of techniques for doing so safely. The young, and even the old, without experience have no real frame of reference for what they are doing with cars or motorcycles, and that creates a significant public danger. Many of the comments on this thread acknowledge this reality through anecdotes about new returning riders having difficulty cotrollig their bikes on public roads. In the interest of public safety, and my personal safety, I do not think it is at all unreasonale to require either formal training or real skills testing or both to receive a driver's or rider's license.

It's great to have freedom, but I don't think freedom and anarchy are synonymous. Without the order and public works projects brought about by government we would all be considerably less free. If you really think everything the Feds do infringes your freedom, take a look at Liberia or Afganistan or any other country where the central government has collapsed. I don't think those people would consder themselves very free as they huddle in the middle of Monrovia surrounded by armies of thugs, whithout access to food or water or medical care.

That's not to say that government should have unlimited power; in fact I think our current government is engaging in activites that threaten long-standing civil and political freedoms that we have enjoyed in this country -- that we have enjoyed, I might add, because our government is structured in a way that creates and maintains open processes, including elections, legislatures and the courts, for debating and defending these freedoms (usually) without resorting to violence. A stable, representative government is the best thing this country has going for it.
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Old 07-25-2003, 04:30 AM   #74
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

I think all you motojournalists on the MO staff believe that its in the best interest of motorcyclists to wear helmets. Wouldn't it be better to come out as an advocate of helmet use and maybe save a few lives or nasty injuries than to sit back with the attitude that its someone else's problem?

You can be an advocate of helmet use without getting into the helmet law/freedom debate. Its not an either or proposition.
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:14 AM   #75
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

The 2002 increase in age 50+ fatalities continues a trend that took off in 1999. Since then, deaths in the 50+ age group have increased sequentially 41%, 24%, 6%, and 26% and have grown from 12% to 20% of the total. As you say, one can't infer anything without exposure data.

And exposure data is scarce. In 1998, the Motorcycle Industry Council reported a median rider age of 38 while median fatality age that year was 34. Median fatality age increased to 38 in 2002, and one can reasonably estimate that median rider age has continued to climb, too. Harley, with soaring sales and around 20% of the market, has a median buyer age of 46, and the industry median is 38.

NHTSA estimates miles ridden for the population but not by age group.
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:28 AM   #76
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

A search of medical literature turned up the following. These results of these studies, all of which appeared in peer-reviewed medical publications between 1991 and 2003, range from "not enough information to tell if helmet use influences severity of injury or mortality" to "Non-helmet use is strongly associated with increaesed likelyhood of head injury, increased severity of head injury and increased fatailyt rates." Higher treatment costs for non-helmeted riders are also documented in several studies. Several studies mention that no increase in neck injury was found for helemeted riders.

1: Eval Rev. 2003 Apr;27(2):131-50. Related Articles, Links

"Born to be wild". The effect of the repeal of Florida's mandatory motorcycle helmet-use law on serious injury and fatality rates.

Stolzenberg L, D'Alessio SJ.

School of Policy and Management, Florida International University, USA.

In response to political pressure, the state of Florida repealed its mandatory motorcycle helmet-use law for all operators and passengers older than the age of 21, effective July 1, 2000. Using monthly data and a multiple time-series design, the authors assessed the effect of this law change on serious injury and fatality rates for motorcycle riders aged 21 and older. Controls for serious injury and fatality rates for motorcycle riders younger than 21 years of age were included in the analyses. Maximum-likelihood results showed that the repeal of the mandatory helmet-use law in Florida had little observable effect on serious injuries or on fatalities that resulted from motorcycle crashes. Policy implications of these findings are discussed, and explanations are given as to why the repeal of the mandatory motorcycle helmet-use law in Florida was inconsequential.

PMID: 12703339 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Recenti Prog Med. 2003 Jan;94(1):1-4. Related Articles, Links

[Epidemiology of scooter accidents in Italy: the effectiveness of mandatory use of helmets in preventing incidence and severity of head trauma]

[Article in Italian]

La Torre G.

Universita degli Studi di Cassino Cattedra di Igiene Viale Bonomi 03043 Cassino, FR. latorre@unicas.it

The article refers to two surveillance studies, conducted the first in the city of Rome and Naples, in 1999, and the second only in Rome before and after the implementation of the new law on mandatory use of helmet (1999-2000). Personal data, accident circumstances, helmet use, others involved in accident and health data were collected. In the first study we found that only 12% of injured people wear a helmet. Head trauma seems to be influenced by helmet use, with a nearly sixfold increase among non-users (RR = 5.73), while injuries to thorax, abdomen and extremity occurred with identical frequency in helmeted and unhelmeted scooter riders. After adjusting for possible confounders, helmet use has a protective effect in respect to head injury (OR = 0.23; 95% CI: 0.026-0.482). In the pre-post legem study we found that in 1999, injured not wearing a helmet represented 95% of the total injured, while in the two periods of 2000 this percentage dropped to 2.8% and 10% respectively. The number of accidents increased in the second period of 2000, but the number of lesions decreased, especially those affecting head (12.43% in 1999, 7.8% e 3.85% in the first and second period of 2000), and a sensible reduction in the use of head imaging diagnostics was also recorded. Mean length of stay for injured scooter riders was 7.1 days in 1999, 8.7 days in the first period of 2000, and 5.6 days in the second period of 2000. The surveillance studies confirmed that helmet use has a protective effect in all the periods considered reducing the probability of head trauma by 3-4 times.

PMID: 12632991 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Ky Med Assoc. 2003 Jan;101(1):21-6. Related Articles, Links

Motorcycle helmets and head injuries in Kentucky, 1995-2000.

Christian WJ, Carroll M, Meyer K, Vitaz TW, Franklin GA.

Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, University of Kentucky, USA.

Motorcycle crashes are common occurrences in Kentucky, and often result in injury or death. The use of motorcycle helmets may improve injury outcomes. Data collected from University of Louisville Hospital trauma center were used to investigate the association between motorcycle helmet use and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), severe head injuries, and acute care hospital charges. Multiple logistic and linear regression models were used for analysis. Motorcycle drivers who did not wear helmets were more likely to incur a TBI (OR = 4.33, 95% CI: 2.60-7.20), severe head injuries (OR = 4.36, 95% CI: 2.58-7.37), and higher acute care hospital charges (beta = $26,618, 95% CI: $8670-$44,565). Kentucky's failure to require mandatory helmet use may increase incidence of TBI and severe head injuries among motorcyclists, and cost state government millions of dollars to pay for care for uninsured or Medicaid patients.

PMID: 12593187 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Emerg Med. 2003 Jan;41(1):18-26. Related Articles, Links

Facial trauma and the risk of intracranial injury in motorcycle riders.

Kraus JF, Rice TM, Peek-Asa C, McArthur DL.

Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles 90024, CA, USA. jfkraus@ucla.edu

STUDY OBJECTIVE: We describe the associations among facial fracture, helmet use, skull fracture, and traumatic brain injury in injured motorcycle riders. METHODS: The study population consisted of 5,790 motorcycle riders who sustained an injury from a crash in 1991, 1992, or 1993 and were identified from emergency department or hospital records in 28 hospitals in 11 California counties. Diagnostic information was abstracted from ED or hospital records and coded to the 1990 Abbreviated Injury Scale. The risk of traumatic brain injury was examined by using odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the associations among helmet use, skull fracture, facial fracture, and traumatic brain injury. RESULTS: Facial injury was diagnosed in 24.4% of all injured riders, including 411 with one or more facial fractures. The odds of traumatic brain injury were 3.5 times greater with than without a facial injury and 6.5 times greater with a facial fracture than with no facial injury. Significantly increased odds of traumatic brain injury were observed for fracture of all bones of the face, but the highest odds of traumatic brain injury were found in riders with fractures to bones of the upper face. Helmet use status and the presence of skull fracture were found to be significant effect modifiers. Facial fracture with concurrent skull fracture increased the risk of traumatic brain injury dramatically. Facial fractures are more strongly associated with traumatic brain injury in helmeted riders. CONCLUSION: The presence of facial fractures increases the risk of traumatic brain injury. Riders with facial fractures should be screened for brain injury, regardless of helmet use status.

PMID: 12514678 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Accid Anal Prev. 2003 Mar;35(2):183-9. Related Articles, Links

Effect of the helmet act for motorcyclists in Thailand.

Ichikawa M, Chadbunchachai W, Marui E.

Department of Community Health, School of International Health, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan. masao@m.u-tokyo.ac.jp

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the effect of the helmet act for motorcyclists on increasing helmet use and reducing motorcycle-related deaths and severe injuries in Thailand. METHODS: Data were derived from a trauma registry at the Khon Kaen Regional Hospital in the northeast Thailand. Helmet use and outcome in motorcycle crashes were compared 2 years before (1994-1995) and after (1996-1997) enforcement of the helmet act. During the study period, there were 12002 injured motorcyclists including 129 death cases in the municipality of Khon Kaen Province who were brought to the regional hospital. RESULTS: After enforcement of the helmet act, helmet-wearers increased five-fold while head injuries decreased by 41.4% and deaths by 20.8%. Those who had head or neck injuries or died were less likely wearing a helmet. Compliance of helmet use was lower at night. Fatality of injured motorcyclists did not significantly decrease in the post-act period and among helmet-wearers. CONCLUSION: Enforcement of the helmet act increased helmet-wearers among motorcyclists but helmet use did not significantly reduce deaths among injured motorcyclists. Motorcyclists should be instructed to properly and consistently wear a helmet for their safety.

PMID: 12504139 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Trauma. 2002 Sep;53(3):469-71. Related Articles, Links

Hospital cost is reduced by motorcycle helmet use.

Brandt MM, Ahrns KS, Corpron CA, Franklin GA, Wahl WL.

Department of Surgery, Division of Trauma, Burn and Emergency Surgery, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor 48109, USA. mmbrandt@med.umich.edu

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to identify the impact of motorcycle helmet use on patient outcomes and cost of hospitalization, in a state with a mandatory helmet law. METHODS: Patients admitted after motorcycle crashes from July 1996 to October 2000 were reviewed, including demographics, Injury Severity Score, length of stay, injuries, outcome, helmet use, hospital cost data, and insurance information. Statistical analysis was performed comparing helmeted to unhelmeted patients using analysis of variance, Student's test, and regression analysis. RESULTS: We admitted 216 patients: 174 wore helmets and 42 did not. Injury Severity Score correlated with both length of stay and cost of hospitalization. Mortality was not significantly different in either group. Failure to wear a helmet significantly increased incidence of head injuries (Student's test, p < 0.02), but not other injuries. Helmet use decreased mean cost of hospitalization by more than $6,000 per patient. CONCLUSION: Failure to wear a helmet adds to the financial burden created by motorcycle-related injuries. Therefore, individuals who do not wear helmets should pay higher insurance premiums.

PMID: 12352482 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1994 Jun 17;43(23):423, 429-31. Related Articles, Links

Head injuries associated with motorcycle use--Wisconsin, 1991.

[No authors listed]

From 1989 through 1991, a total of 9913 persons in the United States died as a result of crashes while operating or riding motorcycles (1). Although use of motorcycle helmets is an effective means for preventing crash-related fatal injuries (2), 25 states and the District of Columbia have not yet enacted laws requiring the universal use of motorcycle helmets (1). This report describes a study by the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in which linked police reports and hospital discharge records for 1991 were used to assess the risk for head injury for motorcyclists in motor-vehicle crashes, the initial inpatient hospital charges for motorcyclists with head injuries resulting from crashes, and the reduction in injuries and fatalities associated with universal helmet use.

PMID: 8202075 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Trauma. 1992 May;32(5):636-41; discussion 641-2. Related Articles, Links

The impact of motorcycle helmet use.

Offner PJ, Rivara FP, Maier RV.

Department of Surgery, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234.

Mandatory motorcycle helmet-use legislation is supported by the high morbidity of motorcycle trauma and its cost to society. Opponents argue, however, that the majority of motorcycle trauma morbidity and costs are the result of injuries to body regions other than the head. Previous data do not address this argument because they fail to control for differences in non-head injury severity (i.e., kinetic impact) between helmeted and unhelmeted patients. This study investigates the impact of helmet use on the morbidity and cost of motorcycle trauma, after controlling for non-head injuries. A retrospective review of all patients admitted to Harborview Medical Center with motorcycle trauma from 1/1/85 to 1/1/90 was performed. Non-head injury severity was determined by calculating an ISS that did not include head injury. This non-head ISS was used to control for injury severity below the neck. Four hundred twenty-five patients were identified. Stratified analysis showed that helmet use decreased the need for and duration of mechanical ventilation, the length of ICU stay, the need for rehabilitation, and prevented head injury. Costs of acute care were significantly less in helmeted patients. Regression analysis, controlling for age, gender, and blood alcohol level (as well as non-head injury severity), confirmed that acute costs were 40% less with helmet use.

PMID: 1588653 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Accid Anal Prev. 1999 May;31(3):229-33. Related Articles, Links

The prevalence of non-standard helmet use and head injuries among motorcycle riders.

Peek-Asa C, McArthur DL, Kraus JF.

Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center, UCLA School of Public Health 90095-1772, USA. cpeekasa@ucla.edu

OBJECTIVES: This study examined the prevalence of non-standard helmet use among motorcycle riders following introduction of a mandatory helmet use law and the prevalence of head injuries among a sample of non-standard helmet users involved in motorcycle crashes. METHODS: Motorcycle rider observations were conducted at 29 statewide locations in the 2 years following the introduction of the mandatory helmet use law in January, 1992. Medical records of motorcyclists who were injured in 1992 for whom a crash report was available and for whom medical care was administered in one of 28 hospitals were reviewed. Chi-squares and analysis of variance were used to describe differences between groups. RESULTS: Prevalence of non-standard helmet use averaged 10.2%, with a range across observation sites from 0 to 48.0%. Non-standard helmet use varied by type of roadway, day of week, and time of day. Injuries to the head were more frequent and of greater severity among those wearing non-standard helmets than both those wearing no helmet and those wearing standard helmets. CONCLUSIONS: Non-standard helmets appear to offer little head protection during a crash. Future study is needed to understand the dynamics leading to head injury when different types of helmets are worn.

PMID: 10196599 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Neurotrauma. 1995 Oct;12(5):873-81. Related Articles, Links

The impact of two related prevention strategies on head injury reduction among nonfatally injured motorcycle riders, California, 1991-1993.

Kraus JF, Peek C.

Southern California Injury Prevention Research Center, UCLA School of Public Health, 90095-1772, USA.

Although the traumatic injury death rate in the United States decreased during the last 20 years, the percent of all injury deaths attributable to brain injuries has remained steady. Head injuries are a leading cause of injury among motorcycle riders in crashes, and the helmet is an effective measure to reduce these injuries. To reduce the burden and cost of motorcycle injuries, many states have increased helmet use by introducing mandatory helmet legislation. This report presents evidence on the effects of the motorcycle helmet and helmet use legislation--two interrelated prevention strategies which decrease traumatic brain injury among motorcycle riders. Nonfatally injured motorcyclists were included if they crashed between January 1, 1991 and December 31, 1993 and were treated in one of 18 hospitals in 10 California counties. Medical records for all injured motorcyclists admitted to these 18 hospitals and those treated in the emergency department and released in eight of these hospitals were individually reviewed. Complete lists of injury diagnoses for each rider were coded according to the 1990 Abbreviated Injury Severity Scale by trained clinical staff. Before the universal helmet law was introduced (when only a third of injured riders wore helmets) 38.2% of riders sustained head injuries. When helmet use increased to over 85% of injured riders following the law, less than 25% of riders sustained head injuries. Both the severity and the number of head injuries per individual rider decreased after the mandatory helmet use law led to increased helmet use. Riders wearing helmets suffered fewer skull fractures, fewer intracranial injuries, had less frequent and shorter periods of loss of consciousness, more favorable GCS scores, and shorter hospital stays. Mandatory motorcycle helmet use laws are an effective mechanism to increase helmet use among riders and thus prevent head and brain injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes.

PMID: 8594214 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Accid Anal Prev. 1993 Jun;25(3):347-53. Related Articles, Links

The association of helmet use with the outcome of motorcycle crash injury when controlling for crash/injury severity.

Rutledge R, Stutts J.

School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599.

Many studies have reported that helmet use by motorcycle riders significantly decreases their risk of head injury, death, and disability in the event of a crash. However, these studies have not controlled for crash severity and thus do not conclusively show the value of helmet use by motorcycle riders. Using data from a statewide trauma registry, the present study examines the association of helmet use with various outcomes of motorcycle crashes, controlling for overall crash severity as measured by a modified Injury Severity Score. The results show that in crashes where the overall degree of injury was comparable, the risk of head injury in hospitalized motorcyclists was nearly twice as high for unhelmeted riders as it was for helmeted riders, thus confirming the protective effects of helmet use. However, there were no significant differences in various measurements of resource utilization, including days in hospital, hospital charges, and need for post-hospital rehabilitation. A higher incidence of extremity injuries among the helmeted riders may account for their failure to demonstrate consistently lower resource utilization, despite lower rates of head injury.

PMID: 8323668 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Accid Anal Prev. 1995 Jun;27(3):363-9. Related Articles, Links

Relationship of helmet use and head injuries among motorcycle crash victims in El Paso County, Colorado, 1989-1990.

Gabella B, Reiner KL, Hoffman RE, Cook M, Stallones L.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver 80222-1530, USA.

A case-control study was conducted in El Paso County, Colorado to estimate differences in risk of head injury among persons in motorcycle crashes who were or were not wearing helmets. There were 71 cases, motorcyclists with head injuries from crashes, and 417 controls, motorcyclists in crashes without head injuries. Motorcyclists not wearing helmets were 2.4 times as likely to sustain head injuries (95% confidence limits: 1.23, 4.70) than motorcyclists wearing helmets. This odds ratio was adjusted for age and crash characteristics, using logistic regression. Alcohol intoxication and severity of motorcycle damage were also associated with significantly elevated odds ratios related to sustaining a head injury.

PMID: 7639920 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

J Trauma. 1995 Feb;38(2):242-5. Related Articles, Links

Fatal injuries in motorcycle riders according to helmet use.

Sarkar S, Peek C, Kraus JF.

Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of California-Los Angeles.

OBJECTIVE: Helmets have been shown to be effective in preventing head injuries in motorcyclists, but some studies have suggested that helmets may cause injury to parts of the head or neck because they add mass to the head. DESIGN: This study examined patterns of fatal injuries in helmeted and unhelmeted motorcyclists. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Coroner reports, hospital records, and police reports for motorcyclists fatally injured in crashes from July 1, 1988 through October 31, 1989 were examined. All injury diagnoses were abstracted and coded to the 1990 version of The Abbreviated Injury Scale and the International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision. MAIN RESULTS: Cerebral injury, intracranial hemorrhage, face, skull vault, and cervical spine injuries were more likely to be found in fatally injured unhelmeted motorcyclists than in helmeted motorcyclists. CONCLUSIONS: These results expand earlier reports showing that helmets provide protection for all types and locations of head injuries, and show that they are not associated with increased neck injury occurrence.

PMID: 7869444 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

West J Med. 1991 Oct;155(4):370-2. Related Articles, Links

Comment in:

West J Med. 1992 Feb;156(2):210.

West J Med. 1992 Feb;156(2):210.

West J Med. 1993 Mar;158(3):310-1.

Helmet use improves outcomes after motorcycle accidents.

Murdock MA, Waxman K.

Department of Surgery, University of California Irvine Medical Center, Orange 92668.

To determine the effects of motorcycle helmet use on the outcome of patients admitted to a Level I trauma center, we studied patient outcomes and demographic and epidemiologic variables of 474 patients injured in motorcycle collisions and treated at such a center over a 45-month period. Of those involved in a motorcycle collision, 50% were not wearing a helmet, 23% were wearing a helmet, and in 27% helmet use was unknown. Those who were wearing a helmet had fewer and less severe head and facial injuries, required fewer days on a ventilator, and sustained no serious neck injuries; fewer patients who wore helmets were discharged with disability, and hospital charges were lower. These data support the need for both increased public education regarding helmet use and mandatory helmet use legislation.

PMID: 1771873 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Ann Emerg Med. 1995 Oct;26(4):455-60. Related Articles, Links

Comment in:

Ann Emerg Med. 1996 Mar;27(3):389-91.

Motorcycle trauma in the state of Illinois: analysis of the Illinois Department of Public Health Trauma Registry.

Orsay E, Holden JA, Williams J, Lumpkin JR.

Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To assess the current morbidity and mortality of motorcycle trauma in the state of Illinois and, specifically, to assess the incidence and cost of head injury to motorcycle crash patients according to their helmet use. DESIGN: Retrospective, cross-sectional examination of the Illinois Department of Public Health Trauma Registry, for which data are available from July 1, 1991, through December 31, 1992. Data are collected from all hospitals designated as Level I or Level II trauma centers in Illinois. PARTICIPANTS: All patients involved in motorcycle crashes and subsequently taken to a Level I or Level II trauma center in Illinois and entered into the trauma registry during the period studied. RESULTS: Head injury, spinal injury, helmet use, demographic data, hospital charges, days in ICU, and source of payment were selected as outcome measures. During the 18-month study period, 1,231 motorcycle trauma patients were entered into the trauma registry. Eighteen percent were helmeted and 56.0% were nonhelmeted. In 26.0% the helmet status at the time of the crash was unknown. Thirty percent of the helmeted patients sustained head injury and 4% sustained spinal or vertebral injury, compared with 51% and 8%, respectively, for nonhelmeted patients. Nonhelmeted patients were significantly more likely to sustain severe (Abbreviated Injury Score [AIS], 3 or more) or critical (AIS, 5 or more) head injury. Patients with these serious head injuries incurred almost three times the hospital charges and used a disproportionately larger share of ICU days than those with mild or no head injuries. There was a trend toward greater use of public funds or self-pay status (no insurance) for payment of hospital charges in nonhelmeted patients. CONCLUSION: Motorcycle helmet nonuse was associated with an increased incidence of serious head injury. Motorcycle trauma patients with severe or critical head injuries used a significantly greater proportion of ICU days and hospital charges than those with mild or no head injuries.

PMID: 7574128 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Ann Emerg Med. 1991 Aug;20(:852-6. Related Articles, Links

A prospective study of the impact of helmet usage on motorcycle trauma.

Kelly P, Sanson T, Strange G, Orsay E.

Program in Emergency Medicine, University of Illinois, College of Medicine, Chicago.

STUDY OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of the use of a motorcycle helmet on reducing the mortality, morbidity, and health care costs resulting from motorcycle crashes. DESIGN: A prospective, multicenter study of all eligible motorcycle crash victims. SETTING: The emergency departments of eight medical centers across the state of Illinois, including representatives from urban, rural, teaching, and community facilities. TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS: All motorcycle crash victims presenting less than 24 hours after injury for whom helmet information was known. Data were collected from April 1 through October 31, 1988. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Fifty-eight of 398 patients (14.6%) were helmeted, and 340 (85.4%) were not. The nonhelmeted patients had higher Injury Severity Scores (11.9 vs 7.02), sustained head/neck injuries more frequently (41.7 vs 24.1%), and had lower Glasgow Coma Scores (13.73 vs 14.51). Twenty-five of the 26 fatalities were nonhelmeted patients. By logistic regression, the lack of helmet use was found to be a major risk factor for increased severity of injury. A 23% increase in health care costs was demonstrated for nonhelmeted patients (average charges $7,208 vs $5,852). CONCLUSION: Helmet use may reduce the overall severity of injury and the incidence of head injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes. A trend toward higher health care costs was demonstrated in the nonhelmeted patients.

Publication Types:

Clinical Trial

Multicenter Study

PMID: 1854068 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Old 07-25-2003, 05:47 AM   #77
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

Hey I was asking the question? Is it helmets? Is old guys on too big bikes? What do you think? Also see this helmet stats
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:49 AM   #78
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Default Re: You missed the irony

Oh yeah!
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Old 07-25-2003, 05:50 AM   #79
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

Hey I was asking the question? Is it helmets? Is old guys on too big bikes? What do you think? Also see this helmet stats

Thanks to sjriott for this link
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Old 07-25-2003, 06:07 AM   #80
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Default Re: Deaths among riders 50 and over increased 26 percent.

I know it's not scientific, but I can only go by what I see riding around and in the newspaper. I live in a fairly "affluent" suburb packed to the gills with the ubiquitous "RUBs" on Dyna Wide-Glides and Road Kings and Heritage Softails. Most over 50, usually in golf shorts and loafers sans socks, and all without helmets. They ride in packs to any number of trendy "biker bars" in the metro area, get tanked up, and then wobble around blipping their throttles through their drag pipes at every opportunity. Oh, and they crash a lot, too. Go figure. But they're too cool for a friendly wave at the guy in full gear on the Ducati trying to pass by on the expressway without getting bumped.

I'm not bitter, though. Really. Friggin' morons...
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