Completed 2019 Research Project

Reducing motorcyclist injuries: Engaging stakeholders to apply evidence-based countermeasures

Principal Investigator
Jerry Everett
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
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Co-Principal Investigator
Asad Khattak
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
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Full Report

Project Slide Deck

Research Brief


One of the recent issues in transportation safety is the rise in fatalities and severe injuries among motorcyclists. Since motorcyclists are far more vulnerable than enclosed vehicle users on the road, they are substantially more likely to get injured in a crash. While evidence-based countermeasures are available, this research aims to shorten the implementation cycle in the translation of research into practice at the state level. Especially with insights and information from CSCRS-sponsored analysis of Motorcycle Crash Causation (MCCS) study data, this project aims to accelerate the research to deployment cycle. For this, statewide motorcycle safety plans provide a critical intervention opportunity. Such safety plans often identify risk factors and consider countermeasures. To identify risk factors, recent motorcycle crash data in Tennessee was analyzed. Then motorcycle safety practices across the United States and other countries were reviewed. Promising and new countermeasures such as enhancing rider conspicuity and motorist awareness, new personal protective gear, avoiding impaired driving, and rider education were matched with risk factors.

Based on recent motorcycle crash data in Tennessee, 73.4% resulted in rider injuries, with 5.1% causing a fatality. Statistical analysis reveals that improper use of a DOT-compliant helmet is associated with severer injuries, compared with properly wearing a DOT-compliant helmet. Other injury risk factors were identified along with high-frequency motorcycle crash hotspots including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with tight curves and elevation changes. To further support planning efforts, a comprehensive review of motorcycle safety practices suggests that Tennessee can invest in efforts to carry out more robust media campaigns on motorcycle safety and increase communication with motorcyclists via online and printed materials. The findings from this project are a valuable reference for expeditious and timely translation of research into practice with the newest evidence-based countermeasures delivering innovative solutions. Based on input from practitioners, developing a Motorcycle Safety Clearinghouse can improve technology transfer, increase two-way information sharing between researchers and practitioners, and serve as a means to get research into practice much more quickly.

Project Details

Project Type: Research
Project Status: Completed
Start Date: 8-1-2019
End Date: 3-31-2022
Contract Year: Year 3
Total Funding from CSCRS: $50,349