Monday, July 6, 2009

Motorcycle accidents, deaths still rising

Motorcycle accidents, deaths still rising

By Kelly Kennedy - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Jul 6, 2009 17:55:57 EDT

The number of service members injured and hospitalized in motorcycle accidents increase by more than 100 from 2007 to 2008, and deaths increased by 18 over the same period.

The numbers have seen a marked upswing since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, with mental health workers expressing concerns that service members seeking to recapture the rush of war might be willing to take more risks.

In 2001, 366 people were injured, including 35 who died, in motorcycle accidents. In 2008, 474 people were injured, including 105 who died, according to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center’s June Medical Surveillance Monthly Report.

“The safety centers of the U.S. military services have documented sharp increases in numbers and rates of motorcycle fatalities among service members,” states the report authors, Army Capt. Scott Cherry and Stephen Taubman of the Data Analysis Group under the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center. “There were more motorcycle accident-related hospitalizations and deaths by far in 2008 than in any prior year of the period.”

However, the researchers did not have access to information about which of those drivers had combat experience, their medical history as far as psychiatric issues or substance-abuse problems, or if they were using helmets or leather clothing.
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Motorcycle accidents, deaths still rising

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