Pro­tec­tion for mo­tor­cy­clists

Jamaica Gleaner - - MATIONAL RAOD SAFETY COUNCIL'S -

COM­PARED WITH cars, mo­tor­cy­cles, be­ing two-wheel­ers, are un­sta­ble and pro­vide lit­tle pro­tec­tion for their rid­ers in crashes. Fa­tal­ity sta­tis­tics sup­port this view.

The in­ter­sec­tion crashes can be more se­ri­ous than crashes oc­cur­ring on street sec­tions. A lack of space for evad­ing ma­noeu­vres and the skill, level of the mo­tor­cy­cle driv­ers are some char­ac­ter­is­tics which may in­flu­ence these crashes.

The risk per mile goes up in roughly the same pro­por­tion as the en­gine ca­pac­ity, so that a 1000cc ma­chine is in­volved in a fa­tal ac­ci­dent 10 times more fre­quently than a 100cc ma­chine. In gen­eral, this im­plies that the most fre­quently On Oc­to­ber 12, 2015, the Na­tional Road Safety Coun­cil (NRSC), in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Na­tional Health Fund (NHF), do­nated four mo­tor­cy­cles valued at $1 mil­lion to the Ja­maica Con­stab­u­lary Force (JCF). CG Ea­gle Mo­tor­cy­cles Lim­ited also do­nated three mo­tor­cy­cles. Fol­low­ing the han­dover, Dr Carl Wil­liams (right), Po­lice Com­mis­sioner, shared a mo­ment with (from left) Su­per­in­ten­dent Court­ney Coubrie, oper­a­tions of­fi­cer, and SSP Calvin Allen from the Traf­fic Head­quar­ters; Dr Lu­cien Jones, vice-chair­man, NRSC; Ever­ton Anderson, CEO, Na­tional Health Fund; and Paula Fletcher, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, NRSC.

in­jured parts of the body are the ex­trem­i­ties and the head. The prob­a­ble ex­pla­na­tion for the high fre­quency of lower-limb in­jury is that the leg is of­ten

squeezed be­tween the rider’s own ve­hi­cle and the strik­ing ve­hi­cle or the ground. These in­juries can be quite se­vere but are of­ten not life-threat­en­ing.

The lead­ing causes of death among mo­tor­cy­clists are in­juries to the head and chest. Other soft-tis­sue in­juries seen in rid­ers of mo­tor cy­cles are caused by pro­trud­ing ob­jects on a mo­tor­cy­cle, on the other ve­hi­cle or on the ground.

In ur­ban ar­eas, the most se­ri­ous crashes are those that cause a sig­nif­i­cant change in the tra­jec­tory of the rider. This move­ment of the driver due to force hap­pens when the mo­tor­cy­cle col­lides with an­other ve­hi­cle or a sta­tion­ary ob­ject large enough to change the path of travel of the driver. If the ob­ject is low enough for the rider to pass over it, the tra­jec­tory will not change sig­nif­i­cantly but the rider will usu­ally con­tinue in the orig­i­nal di­rec­tion un­til he hits the ground, or some other ob­ject, at some dis­tance from the site of the col­li­sion. This dis­tance is determined mainly by his orig­i­nal speed. While air­borne, the rider may tumble and, there­fore, it is not pos­si­ble to pre­dict his

Com­pared with oc­cu­pants of other ve­hi­cles, driv­ers of mo­tor­cy­cles are vir­tu­ally un­pro­tected in the event of a crash.

With­out doubt, the most im­por­tant item of equip­ment for re­duc­ing the sever­ity of two-wheeler crashes is the crash hel­met.

In the early hel­mets, only the top of the head was cov­ered by a rigid shell. Later, the shell was ex­tended over the sides of the head and shock­ab­sorb­ing lin­ing was in­tro­duced. Re­cently, the full-face in­te­gral hel­met has be­come very pop­u­lar. It ex­tends the pro­tec­tion to cover more of the head and face of the wearer and also it has an im­proved shock­ab­sorb­ing ca­pac­ity.

It ap­pears that the use of a hel­met re­duces the risk of sus­tain­ing a head in­jury by

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