OBJECTIVE: To analyze the spatial distribution of mortality due to motorcycle accidents in the state of Pernambuco, Northeastern Brazil. METHODS: A population-based ecological study using data on mortality in motorcycle accidents from 01/01/2000 to 31/12/2005. The analysis units were the municipalities. For the spatial distribution analysis, an average mortality rate was calculated, using deaths from motorcycle accidents recorded in the Mortality Information System as the numerator, and as the denominator the population of the mid-period. Spatial analysis techniques, mortality smoothing coefficient estimate by the local empirical Bayesian method and Moran scatterplot, applied to the digital cartographic base of Pernambuco were used. RESULTS: The average mortality rate for motorcycle accidents in Pernambuco was 3.47 per 100 thousand inhabitants. Of the 185 municipalities, 16 were part of five clusters identified with average mortality rates ranging from 5.66 to 11.66 per 100 thousand inhabitants, and were considered critical areas. Three clusters are located in the area known as sertão and two in the agreste of the state. CONCLUSIONS: The risk of dying from a motorcycle accident is greater in conglomerate areas outside the metropolitan axis, and intervention measures should consider the economic, social and cultural contexts.
Motorcycles; Accidents, Traffic, mortality; Ecological Studies