Background: Motorcyclists have the highest morbidity and mortality rates of all road users. Little evidence is available to demonstrate how rider, crash and speed influence short- and long-term patient outcomes.
Methods: A prospective study of 208 consecutive crash presentations was undertaken at the Royal Perth Hospital, Western Australia. All motorcycle, scooter, trike and quad bike accident victims over a 4-month period ending 31 March 2009 were included.
Results: One hundred and forty-three admissions and 1344 days of hospitalization were recorded, with 6.56 days mean length of stay and 9.27 mean Injury Severity Scores. Loosing control due to intoxication, being hit by another vehicle and travelling above the speed limit yielded the worst patient outcomes. Hitting a stationary object and travelling below the speed limit were the most common accident features. Travelling in excess of 50 kph increased risk of intracranial injury, with an odds ratio of 4.8.
Conclusion: Crash factors including intoxication, speed and accident cause significantly influence both short- and long-term patient outcomes.