What are the Factors Associated with Motorcycle Traffic Crash Fatalities among Active Duty US Army personnel?

Research Paper Title

Factors associated with motorcycle traffic crash fatalities among active duty U.S. Army personnel.

Background

Research on factors associated with motorcycle fatalities among active duty US Army personnel is limited.

This analysis describes motorcycle crash-related injuries from 1995 through 2014 and assesses the effect of alcohol use and helmet use on the risk of fatal injury among active duty US Army motorcycle operators involved in a traffic crash, controlling for other factors shown to be potentially associated with fatality in this population.

Methods

Demographics, crash information, and injury data were obtained from safety reports maintained in the Army Safety Management Information System.

Traffic crashes were defined as crashes occurring on a paved public or private roadway or parking area, including those on a US Army installation.

Analysis was limited to motorcycle operators.

Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) from a multivariable analysis estimated the effect of alcohol use and helmet use on the risk of a fatal injury given a crash occurred, controlling for operator and crash characteristics.

Results

Of the 2,852 motorcycle traffic crashes, most involved men (97%), operators aged 20-29 years of age (60%), and operators who wore helmets (95%) and did not use alcohol (92%).

Two thirds of reported crashes resulted in injuries requiring a lost workday; 17% resulted in fatality.

Controlling for operator and crash characteristics, motorcycle traffic crashes involving operators who had used alcohol had a 3.1 times higher odds of fatality than those who did not use alcohol (OR =3.14; 95% CI, 2.17-4.53).

Operators who did not wear a helmet had 1.9 times higher odds of fatality than those who did wear a helmet (OR =1.89; 95% CI, 1.24-2.89).

Conclusions

Among US Army motorcycle operators, alcohol use and not wearing a helmet increased the odds of fatality, given that a crash occurred, and additional modifiable risk factors were identified.

Results will help inform US Army motorcycle policies and training.

Reference

Rappole, C., Canham-Chervak, M., Taylor, B. & Jones, B.H. (2019) Factors associated with motorcycle traffic crash fatalities among active duty U.S. Army personnel. Traffic Injury Prevention. 20(2), pp.174-181. doi: 10.1080/15389588.2018.1532082. Epub 2019 Apr 4.

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