Study objective: A cohort of 4,729 junior college students in Taiwan was studied to determine risk factors for increased severity of motorcycle injuries. Methods: Crash characteristics were collected by using self-administered questionnaires soon after a student was involved in a motorcycle crash. The proportional odds model with generalized estimating equations, with correlated ordinal responses for collisions categorized into not injured, mildly injured, and severely injured categories, was used to determine the odds of injury severity. Results: A total of 1,889 motorcycle crashes involving 1,284 persons occurred over a 20-month period from November 1994 to June 1996. There were 1,339 noninjuries, 474 mild injuries, and 76 severe injuries. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of rural to urban roads having a greater level of injury severity was 1.64. Compared with noncollisions, collisions with a moving car (adjusted OR=1.76), a parked car (adjusted OR 1.90), or another stationary object (adjusted OR=2.31) increased the odds for a greater level of injury severity. Riders using Sanyang (adjusted OR=1.63) and Yamaha (adjusted OR=1.39) motorcycles had greater odds of being involved in a crash with a greater level of injury compared with those riding Kymco motorcycles. Darkness (adjusted OR=1.65) and greater speeds (adjusted OR=1.63 to 4.69) also increased the odds of greater injury severity. Conclusion: At the time of motorcycle crashes, factors such as being on rural roads, collisions with a heavier object, some motorcycle makes, darkness, and greater speeds increased the severity of motorcycle injuries among these young adult riders.
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