Trends in Motorcycle Fatalities Associated With Alcohol-Impaired Driving—United States, 1983-2003 | Addiction Medicine | JAMA | JAMA Network
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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 19, 2005

Trends in Motorcycle Fatalities Associated With Alcohol-Impaired Driving—United States, 1983-2003

JAMA. 2005;293(3):287-288. doi:10.1001/jama.293.3.287

MMWR. 2004;53:1103-1106

1 figure, 1 table omitted

Motorcycles are the most dangerous type of motor vehicle to drive.1 These vehicles are involved in fatal crashes at a rate of 35.0 per 100 million miles of travel, compared with a rate of 1.7 per 100 million miles of travel for passenger cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported increasing numbers of motorcycle deaths associated with alcohol-impaired driving in recent years, especially among persons aged ≥40 years.2 To determine trends by age group in motorcycle fatalities overall and in those involving alcohol impairment, CDC analyzed data from the NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) for 1983, 1993, and 2003. This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicated that, during 1983-2003, the overall prevalence of elevated blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) among motorcycle drivers who died in crashes declined; however, the peak rate of death among alcohol-impaired motorcycle drivers shifted from those aged 20-24 years to those aged 40-44 years. Strong enforcement of existing BAC laws, together with other public health interventions aimed at motorcyclists, might reduce the crash mortality rate, especially among older drivers.

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