In Taiwan, many older adults ride motorcycles for outdoor activities. The identification of the factors leading to fatalities in these older motorcyclists is essential for improving motorcycle safety.
In the traffic crash dataset of the National Police Agency (NPA), only the crash victims who die within 24 hours after an accident are officially categorized as fatally injured. This study refined severity level of a
fatal injury using the 30-day definition instead of the 24-hour definition, and investigated the factors affecting older motorcyclist fatalities in traffic crashes.
Methods: This study linked the NPA traffic crash dataset and the causes of death dataset of the Ministry of Health and Welfare to modify the definition of “fatally injured” in NPA traffic crash dataset to the international 30-day definition. This study built a logistic regression model to investigate the factors affecting older motorcyclist fatalities.
Results: Older motorcyclists accounted for 35% of the motorcyclist fatalities; safety problems for older motorcyclists were serious. Several risk factors were found, including motorcyclist characteristics (e.g.,
alcohol use and traffic violation behaviors), environmental factors (e.g., lighting conditions), vehicle factors (e.g., type of conflict vehicle), and drivers of the conflict vehicles driving under the influence of alcohol. Conclusion: Older motorcyclists accounted for a considerable proportion of crash fatalities in Taiwan.
Among the violation behavior factors affecting older motorcyclist fatalities, we particularly identified drunk driving to be a serious issue. Thus, the implementation of a zero-tolerance drunk-driving law by setting a low legal blood-alcohol limit is strongly recommended.
International Journal of Gerontology Special Issue, p.68-72