To evaluate the factors associated with traffic motorcycles accidents.
The sample consisted of 285 motorcycle accident victims in São Paulo. Data were collected from 24-hour emergency service shifts regarding: conditions of the victims, security equipment, road and vehicle conditions.
Victims were mostly young men (92%); 23% used the motorcycle for work (average: 8 hours per day); 45% had owned a motorcycle for less than two years; 77% were licensed motorcycle drivers; 33% had less than four years of qualification; 31% had attended a course of defensive driving. Severe lesions were identified in 67% of the unlicensed drivers. Polytrauma occurred in 9% head trauma in 5% of the entire population. Lower limb fractures occurred more frequently than upper limb (17% vs. 12%). Most wore helmets (90%) but only 18% wore helmet, boots and jacket. Positive readings for alcohol (7%) and drugs (14%) occurred in 21% of victims. Most accidents occurred as a consequence of imprudence (88%), during the day (67%), in dry weather conditions (94%). A side impact was registered in 48% of cases; 80% of motorcycles had an engine capacity up to 250 cc. In 51% of the accidents the person responsible for the accident was the driver of the other vehicle in the accident.
Most accidents involve motorcyclists who are young male adults, use the motorcycle as a means of transport and do not consider safety, defensive driving and the use of alcohol and drugs as important factors.
Motorcycle; Accidents; Epidemiology; Trauma