Shifts in ownership toward high-powered motorcycles and its effects on public health
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Objectives. We assessed whether policies designed to safeguard young motorcyclists would be effective given shifts in ownership toward high-powered motorcycles. Methods. We investigated population-wide motor vehicle driver and motorcyclist casualties (excluding passengers) recorded in Britain between 2002 and 2009. To adjust for exposure and measure individual risk, we used the estimated number of trips of motorcyclists and drivers, which had been collected as part of a national travel survey. Results. Motorcyclists were 76 times more likely to be killed than were drivers for every trip. Older motorcyclist age—strongly linked to experience, skill set,and riding behavior—did not abate the risks of high-powered motorcycles. Older motorcyclists made more trips on high-powered motorcycles. Conclusions: Tighter engine size restrictions would help reduce the use of high-powered motorcycles. Policymakers should introduce health warnings on the risks of high-powered motorcycles and the benefits of safety equipment.
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