BACKGROUND:In Iran more than 25% of crash fatalities belong to motorcycle operators and passengers in the recent years, from which about 20% are related to passenger fatalities. METHODS: The aim of this study was to investigate the motorcycle operator and passenger characteristics as well as other contributory factors that may affect the fatality risk of motorcyclists involved in traffic crashes. To this end, motorcycle crash data between 2009 and 2012 was extracted from Iran traffic crash database and a logistic regression analysis was performed to obtain odds ratio estimates for each of the study variables. RESULTS: The fatality risk of motorcyclists has a direct relationship with the number of pillion passengers carried. Results also indicate that the amount of increase in the likelihood of having a fatality in a motorcycles crash is considerably higher when the operator is accompanied by a male passenger of the same age. Furthermore, results showed that if the crash is occurred in the darkness, on curves, in rural areas and on highways, then the crash would be more likely to be fatal. Moreover, the head-on collisions, older operators, unlicensed operators and not using a safety helmet were found to increase the likelihood of a fatality in a motorcycle crash. CONCLUSIONS: Preventative measures such as, imposing stricter rules regarding safety helmet usage and confining the number of pillion passengers to one, might be implemented to reduce the fatality risk in motorcycle crashes. In addition, more appropriate infrastructures for penalizing offending motorcyclists could also reduce the frequency of law violations such as not wearing helmet or riding without motorcycle license, which in turn, would result into a reduction in the fatality risk of motorcycle crashes.© 2015 KUMS, All rights reserved
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