Motorcycles deadly no matter rider's skill

Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:32 PM

BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- No matter how skilled or experienced motorcyclists are, they have far higher risk of being killed while riding than someone in a car, U.K. researchers say.

Jonathan J. Rolison of Queen's University Belfast and Elizabeth Hellier of the University of Plymouth assessed whether policies designed to safeguard young motorcyclists would be effective given shifts toward high-powered motorcycles.

The researchers investigated population-wide motor vehicle driver and motorcyclist casualties, excluding passengers, recorded in Britain between 2002 and 2009. To adjust for exposure and measure individual risk, the researchers said they used the estimated number of trips of motorcyclists and drivers, which had been collected as part of a national travel survey.

The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found motorcyclists were 76 times more likely to be killed than were drivers for every trip. Older motorcyclist age -- with more experience, better skill sets and superior riding behavior -- did not abate the risks of high-powered motorcycles, the study said.

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