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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-18-064    Date:  February 2019
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-18-064
Date: February 2019


Motorcycle Crash Causation Study: Final Report

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The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS), conducted through the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety Research and Development, produced a wealth of information on the causal factors of motorcycle (MC) crashes and provides perspectives on what crash-countermeasure opportunities can be developed. This study used a crash- and control-case approach developed from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development protocols, which as discussed in this report, has provided insights into more than 1,900 data elements that may be associated with motorcycle-crash causation. The research team produced a final report along with a 14-volume series of supplemental reports that provide an overview of the study and a summary of its observations, the data-collection forms and coding definitions, a tabulation of each data element collected from each form, and selected comparisons with previous studies. It is anticipated that readers will select those Volumes and data elements that provide information of specific interest.

This final report describes the development and conduct of the MCCS and contains tabulations of the results. It provides a background of the study, various protocols used to collect the data, the study design, and a summary of the findings. This report will be of interest to individuals involved in traffic safety, safety training, crash and injury reduction, and roadway design and policymaking, as well as MC designers and safety-equipment designers, crash investigators and researchers, MC and automotive manufacturers and consumers, roadway users, and human-factors specialists.

Brian P. Cronin, P.E.
Director, Office of Safety and Operations
Research and Development


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers’ names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the objective of the document.

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Technical Report Documentation Page
1. Report No.
2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient’s Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study: Final Report
5. Report Date
February 2019
6. Performing Organization Code
DUNS No. 049987720
7. Author(s)
John W. Nazemetz, Frances D. Bents, James G. Perry, Craig Thor, and Yusuf M. Mohamedshah
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Oklahoma State University
College of Engineering-Research
201 ATRC
Stillwater, OK 74078

1600 Research Boulevard
Rockville, MD 20850

Dynamic Science, Inc.
8433 N. Black Canyon Highway
Phoenix, AZ 85021
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH61-06-H-00034
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center
6300 Old Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report; January 2011-December 2017
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
The Contracting Officer's Representatives are Carol Tan, Ph.D. (HRDS-20), and Craig Thor, Ph.D. (HRTM-10), Federal Highway Administration.
16. Abstract
This large-scale study, based on the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS) sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, gathered data on motorcycle (MC) crashes by intensive post-crash investigations and control MC observations and interviews conducted in Orange County, CA. The study developed a dataset that researchers can use to investigate additional research questions. The database provides data from 351 injury crashes and 702 paired control observations. Of the crashes observed, 82 were single-vehicle crashes, and 269 were multiple-vehicle crashes, all of which involved a total of 294 other in-transit vehicles and 11 parked vehicles; 40 crashes resulted in fatalities, with 22 single vehicle-crash fatalities and 18 multiple vehicle-crash fatalities observed. The study compiled the observations on rider, passenger, and other-vehicle (OV) driver demographics; environmental factors; factors contributing to the crash; MC; and OV parameters; injuries sustained; and clothing/safety equipment used. The study also compiled observations on the crash and control riders, passengers, and MCs and OVs involved in the crashes. Within the crash observations, the study compiled and compared the data for single- and multiple-vehicle crashes, fatal and nonfatal crashes, along with selected previous studies and elements of the National Automotive Sampling System/General Estimates System and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System databases. The data are available in SAS® and Microsoft® Excel™ formats; MCCS Volume 2 defines all codes used.(1)
17. Key Words
Motorcycle, Motorcycle Crashes, Hurt Study, Motorcycle Rider, OECD, Motorcycle Crash Causation, Crash Data, Motorcycle Crash Investigation
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions. This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA 22161.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
21. No. of Pages
22. Price
Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed pages authorized.
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