Motorcycle accidents constitute a major cause of death and disability among the young. This paper draws on routinely collected data to describe the trends for motorcycling and motorcycle accidents in Britain between 1951 and 1980. The level of risk (calculated as motorcyclist fatalities per motorcycle kilometre travelled) has fallen, but this effect has been overwhelmed by changes in motorcycle use. The paper discusses some of the factors that may have contributed to these time trends and concludes that accident prevention programmes should address the determinants of use as well as those of risk.
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