two injury studies are reported: a two-year hospital sample of 766 motorcycle casualties treated at one major accident hospital and a separate one-year sample of 41 fatally injured motorcyclists. national accident data indicate that motorcycle riders have a higher overall death and injury rate compared to car drivers in relation to their respective average distances travelled. in addition, motorcycle fatalities account for 55 per cent of road accident deaths in the 17-19 year age group. the studies showed that the body regions most frequently sustaining severe injuries are the head, arms and lower legs. injuries to these body regions are mainly responsible for both prolonged in-patient treatment and also permanent disability. serious injuries to the head frequently resulted in death. there was also a high incidence of injuries to the thoracic aorta in the fatally injured group caused by rapid deceleration of the projected rider's body against an unyielding object. a high proportion of those killed and injured were in the 17-19 year age group and most of the collisions were with cars and occurred in urban areas. engineering solutions are suggested aimed at improving machine handling and preventing high deceleration forces being applied to the vulnerable body regions of the motorcyclist following accidental impact. improvements in protection for the lower leg and the need for better understanding of the mechanism of brain injury which may lead to a possible improvement in helmet design are also suggested.(a)

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