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Motorcycle Protective Gear: Are We Really Protected? Wayne State University Transportation Research Group Deborah. S. McAvoy, PE, PTOE.

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Presentation on theme: "Motorcycle Protective Gear: Are We Really Protected? Wayne State University Transportation Research Group Deborah. S. McAvoy, PE, PTOE."— Presentation transcript:

1 Motorcycle Protective Gear: Are We Really Protected? Wayne State University Transportation Research Group Deborah. S. McAvoy, PE, PTOE

2 Introduction – National Trends Each Year Motorcycle Crashes Claim Thousands of Lives Between 1995 and 2005 Decreased Motor Vehicle Fatality Rates Decreased 4.4% Increased Motorcycle Fatality Rates Increased 6.5%

3 Introduction – National Trends

4 Each Year Tens of Thousands of Motorcycle Riders Suffer Injuries Between 1995 and 2005 Decreased Motor Vehicle Injury Rates Decreased 1.6% Increased Motorcycle Injury Rates Increased 2.9%

5 Introduction – National Trends

6 Introduction – Michigan Trends 2005 Fatality Rates 16.0 Motorcycles: 16.0 fatalities per HMVMT 1.1 Motor Vehicles: 1.1 Fatalities per HMVMT Between 1995 and 2005 Decreased Motor Vehicle Fatalities Decreased 3.0% Increased Motorcycle Fatalities Increased 4.1%

7 Introduction – Michigan Trends

8 Between 1995 and 2005 Motor Vehicle Injuries Decreased 4.7% Motorcycle Injuries Increased 2.2%

9 Introduction – Michigan Trends

10 Motorcycle Crashes Rider is Not Protected by Motorcycle Drivers of Motor Vehicles are Protected by the Vehicle Enclosed Compartment Sheet Metal Air Bags Safety Belts  Required for front-seat occupants per Michigan Vehicle Code Public Act 300 Section e

11 Motorcycle Crashes Only Protective Gear can Provide Barrier Between Rider and Roadway Leather Jacket Leather Pants Above Ankle Boots Gloves Elbow/Shoulder Pads Knee Pads Goggles Helmets Required for per Michigan Vehicle Code Public Act 300 Section

12 Motorcycle Helmets Provide Protection Serious Brain Injuries Death 20 States Require Use of Helmets 27 States Require Use of Helmets for those Under 18 (Typically) 3 States Don’t Require Any Helmets Colorado, Illinois, Iowa

13 Helmet Laws Impacts on States After Repealing Full Helmet Use Law (Under 18 or 21 Required Only) Kentucky’s Helmet Use Rate Dropped from 96% to 56% Louisiana's Helmet Use Rate Dropped from 100% to 52% Fatalities Increased by 170% Between 1997 and 2002 Injuries Increased by 58% Between 1997 and 2002 Arkansas’s Non-Helmeted Death Rates Increased from 39.6% to 75.5%

14 Helmet Laws Impacts on States

15 Five-year Before ( ) and After ( ) Helmet Law Repeal Study for Florida Percent increase in Motorcycle Registration = 57.0% Percent Increase in Motorcycle Fatalities = 99.4%

16 Motorcycle Observational Survey 1993 Helmet Use Rate Study (UMTRI) 99.4% Based upon 150 Motorcycle Rider Observations 2006 Helmet Use Rate Study (WSU) 99.4% Based upon 2,274 Motorcycle Rider Observations

17 Motorcycle Observational Survey Protective Gear Use Rates Only 15.1% Wear Proper Upper Body Protection Only 1.8% Wear Proper Lower Body Protection

18 Motorcycle Observational Survey Protective Gear Use Rates

19 Motorcycle Observational Survey Protective Gear Use Rates

20 Motorcycle Observational Survey Helmet Types Observed Half-Shell Standard Open Face with Shield Standard Open Face without Shield Standard Full Face Helmet

21 Motorcycle Observational Survey Helmet Use by Type of Helmet Half-Shell – Legal (DOT Approved) or Not?

22 Half-Shell Helmet Issues DOT approved Helmets Meet Minimum Levels of Performance Protect Head and Brain During Crash Thick Inner Liner Sturdy Chin Straps and Rivets Weigh Three Pounds No Protrusions DOT Sticker on Outside Back of Helmet

23 Half-Shell Helmet Issues DOT Stickers are Sold Separately for Non-complying Helmets Differentiating Between DOT Approved and Non-complying Helmets is Difficult in Visual Observations

24 Conclusions Motorcycle Riders in Michigan are NOT Truly Protected From Death or Severe Injury 43.9% May Have Improper Helmets 84.9% Wear Improper Upper Body Clothing 12.0% Wear Shorts 52.8% Wear Improper Foot Protection 68.0% Do Not Wear Body Armor

25 Conclusions Michigan’s Actual Helmet (Proper) Use Rate May Be As Low As:55.5%


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