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Motorcycle Crash Causation Study

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Friday, April 1, 2011
End Date: 
Saturday, December 31, 2016
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
Safety Data and Analysis
FHWA Activity: 
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study
FHWA Topics: 
Research/Technologies--Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC)
TRT Terms: 
Motorcycles; Crash Investigation; Safety; Research; Motorcycle Accidents; Accident Investigation; Countermeasures
FHWA Discipline: 
TRB Subject Area: 
Safety and Human Factors, Research, Vehicles and Equipment

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3464
Safety Data and Analysis Team
Office of Safety Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS) uses the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) data collection methodology, which constitutes a comprehensive onscene, indepth accident investigation protocol for motorcycle crashes. This includes interviews with similarly at-risk riders (control group) at each of the crash locations. This collection methodology provides for the development of a statistically robust database that will provide insight into the causes of motorcycle crashes. The database will contain both indepth data on crash antecedents, as well as data on risk factors (e.g., age, rider experience, speed, alcohol) that will be derived from comparisons of the crash and control samples. The collected data can be used to guide the development of improved countermeasures to crashes including countermeasures relating to roadway configuration and design. At current funding levels, the MCCS is projected to include about 260 cases, including 520 controls.


The primary objective of the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study is to conduct a large-scale crash investigation study to determine the causes of motorcycle crashes in the United States.

Partners and Other Sponsor/Managing/Performing Organizations: 


Deliverable Name: 
Motorcycle Crash Causation Study: Final Report
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study (MCCS), conducted through the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety Research and Development, produced a wealth of information on the causal factors of motorcycle (MC) crashes and provides perspectives on what crash-countermeasure opportunities can be developed. This study used a crash- and control-case approach developed from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development protocols, which as discussed in this report, has provided insights into more than 1,900 data elements that may be associated with motorcycle-crash causation. The research team produced a final report along with a 14-volume series of supplemental reports that provide an overview of the study and a summary of its observations, the data-collection forms and coding definitions, a tabulation of each data element collected from each form, and selected comparisons with previous studies. It is anticipated that readers will select those Volumes and data elements that provide information of specific interest. This final report describes the development and conduct of the MCCS and contains tabulations of the results. It provides a background of the study, various protocols used to collect the data, the study design, and a summary of the findings. This report will be of interest to individuals involved in traffic safety, safety training, crash and injury reduction, and roadway design and policymaking, as well as MC designers and safety-equipment designers, crash investigators and researchers, MC and automotive manufacturers and consumers, roadway users, and human-factors specialists.