Factors affecting motorcycle helmet use in the population of Greater Athens, Greece.
OBJECTIVES: Helmet use is the best preventive measure available against two wheel motorized vehicle (TWMV) related head injuries. In some countries, however, helmets are used only by a minority of TWMV riders. In collaboration with the Road Traffic Police Department, an inspection survey was undertaken to assess the prevalence and to determine predictors of helmet use. SETTING: The Greater Athens area, Greece, during July and August 1998. METHODS: A total of 982 TWMVs were stopped, 349 of which had two riders (36%). All riders were interviewed by staff members of the Centre for Research and Prevention of Injuries among the Young. RESULTS: The average prevalence of helmet use was 20.2%. It ranged from 9.7% on small suburban roads to 50.8% on highways. Prevalence of use was significantly lower during the weekend days and at night. Women were significantly more likely to wear a helmet and, controlling for gender, drivers were significantly more likely to be helmet users. Riders of more powerful TWMVs and passengers, who themselves had a TWMV driving license, were helmet users more frequently. Among non-users, the majority (46%) indicated that "the helmet made them feel uncomfortable", particularly in warm weather, whereas 18% claimed that there was little need for a helmet in low speed riding. CONCLUSIONS: A multipronged campaign is urgently needed in Greece to increase the prevalence of helmet use by TWMV riders. The campaign should include not only police enforcement but also initiatives to make helmets more convenient to wear and less expensive. (+info)
Effect of the mandatory helmet law in Taiwan.
OBJECTIVE: To estimate the impact of a mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan. METHODS: Taiwan passed a mandatory helmet law in June 1997. Data were collected retrospectively from police reports, which include hospital data, to compare six months pre-law June to November 1996) with the same six months post-law (June to November 1997). RESULTS: Motorcycle fatalities decreased 14% after the introduction of the helmet law. Head injury fatalities fell 22% while fatalities from injuries to other bodily areas rose 20%. Non-fatal motorcycle injuries fell 31%. Non-fatal head injuries fell 44%; non-fatal injuries to other body parts fell 23%. CONCLUSION: This study indicates that large, immediate public health benefits resulted from the mandatory motorcycle helmet law in Taiwan. (+info)
Increasing age and experience: are both protective against motorcycle injury? A case-control study.
OBJECTIVES: To assess the associations between age, experience, and motorcycle injury. SETTING: Motorcycle riding on non-residential roads between 6 am and midnight over a three year period from February 1993 in Auckland, New Zealand. METHODS: A population based case-control study was conducted. Cases were 490 motorcycle drivers involved in a crash and controls were 1518 drivers identified at random roadside surveys. Crash involvement was defined in terms of a motorcycle crash resulting in either a driver or pillion passenger being killed, hospitalised, or presenting to a public hospital emergency department with an injury severity score > OR =5. RESULTS: There was a strong and consistent relationship between increasing driver age and decreasing risk of moderate to fatal injury. In multivariate analyses, drivers older than 25 years had more than 50% lower risk than those aged from 15-19 years (odds ratio (OR) 0.46; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.26 to 0.81). In univariate analyses, a protective effect from riding more than five years compared with less than two years was observed. However, this protection was not sustained when driver age and other potential confounding variables were included in the analyses. Familiarity with the specific motorcycle was the only experience measure associated with a strong protective effect (OR (> OR =10,000 km experience) 0.52; 95% Ci 0.35 to 0.79) in multivariate analyses. CONCLUSIONS: Current licensing regulations should continue to emphasise the importance of increased age and might consider restrictions that favour experience with a specific motorcycle. (+info)
Children are not goldfish--mark/recapture techniques and their application to injury data.
OBJECTIVES: Mark/recapture (or capture-recapture) is a simple technique commonly applied to estimate the hypothetical total (including undercount) in a register composed of cases from two or more independent and separately incomplete case lists. This paper seeks to illustrate serious drawbacks in the use of the mark/recapture technique when applied to injuries. SETTING AND SUBJECTS: Northumbrian children under 15 years of age who were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) over a five year period ascertained from two data sources: police reports and hospital inpatient records. METHODS: Individuals (n) appearing in both police (S) and hospital (H) case lists are identified using various matching criteria. The separate and combined influence of age, sex, and casualty class (cyclist, passengers, pedestrians) on the probability of such matching is estimated using multivariate techniques. The hypothetical total incidence of child MVA victims (N) is calculated from N = (S x H)/n. MAIN OUTCOMES: Estimates of the incidences of "serious" injuries in MVAs under various conditions of stratification and matching. The overall procedure is tested for conformity with accepted criteria for valid use of mark/recapture. RESULTS: About one third of the 1009 police and 836 hospital records could be exactly matched. There were significant variations in matching proportions by class of accident (pedestrian v passenger v cyclist). This selective recapture or "heterogeneity" was not affected by sex, but was independently influenced by the age of the child. Further uncertainty was introduced when matching criteria were slightly relaxed. Estimates of the total population of children with serious injuries vary accordingly from 1729 to 2743. A number of plausible reasons why these two data sources might not be unbiased or mutually independent samples of the total target population are proposed as explanations for this heterogeneity. CONCLUSION: This typical example of two sample mark/recapture estimation in an epidemiological setting can be shown to violate virtually all the requirements for valid use of the technique. Very little can be deduced accurately about the scale or characteristics of an unobserved group by the use of mark/recapture applied to two overlapping health event registers. (+info)
The effect of the Taiwan motorcycle helmet use law on head injuries.
OBJECTIVES: This study evaluated the effect of the motorcycle helmet law implemented in Taiwan on June 1, 1997. METHODS: Collecting data on 8795 cases of motorcycle-related head injuries from 56 major Taiwanese hospitals, we compared the situation 1 year before and after implementation of the helmet law. RESULTS: After implementation of the law, the number of motorcycle-related head injuries decreased by 33%, from 5260 to 3535. Decreases in length of hospital stay and in severity of injury and better outcome were also seen. The likelihood ratio chi 2 test showed that severity decreased after the law's implementation (P < .001). Full helmets were found to be safer than half-shell helmets. CONCLUSION: The helmet law effectively decreased the mortality and morbidity from motorcycle-related head injuries. (+info)
Anabolic steroid accelerated multicompartment syndrome following trauma.
The case is reported of a 23 year old male body builder who was involved in a road traffic accident after taking anabolic steroids. The resulting trauma caused a severe life threatening acute multicompartment syndrome resulting in the need for urgent multiple fasciotomies. (+info)
Road traffic accidents in patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
Three patients involved in road traffic accidents were suspected to have obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). Two of them fell asleep while riding motorcycles and one patient fell asleep behind the wheel of a truck causing it to overturn. The diagnosis of OSA in each case was suspected based on a history of loud snoring, restless sleep, and excessive daytime somnolence and was confirmed by sleep studies. (+info)
Impact of a helmet law on two wheel motor vehicle crash mortality in a southern European urban area.
BACKGROUND: In Spain, a federal road safety law went into effect in the fall of 1992 extending to urban areas the unrestricted use of safety helmets by all two wheel motor vehicle occupants. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effect of the law in reducing fatal motorcycle crash injuries; to estimate the number of lives saved; and to determine changes in the distribution of severity and anatomical location of injuries. METHODS: Pre-test/post-test design of all deaths of two wheel motor vehicle occupants from 1990-92 (pre-law period) and from 1993-95 (post-law period) detected by the Barcelona Forensic Institute and the city police department. Injuries were coded using the 1990 version of the abbreviated injury scale. Poisson regression methods were used to model trends in mortality ratios and to provide estimates of the number of lives saved. RESULTS: Between 1993 and 1995, 35 lives of two wheel motor vehicle occupants were spared, representing a decrease of 25% in the observed motorcycle crash mortality in the post-law period when compared with what would be expected if no such law had gone into effect. The proportion of deaths with severe head injuries was also reduced from 76% to 67% in the post-law period. CONCLUSIONS: This study offers the first evaluation of a helmet law using combined forensic and police data in a large south European urban area where there is widespread use of motorcycles. Our results confirm the effectiveness of the helmet law, as measured by the reduction in the number of deaths and mortality ratios after the law implementation. The findings reinforce the public health benefits of mandatory non-restricted motorcycle and moped helmet use, even in urban areas with lower traffic speeds. (+info)