Motorcycles: Education, intense control and helmet use could make their use safer

The danger for motorcyclists is found more commonly in the Northeast, where three states hold the greater number of deaths: Piauí, Rio Grande do Norte and Maranhão


Growing number of deaths by motorcycle accidents are alarming

The third edition of the Picture of Traffic Safety report shows that, in the 12 years the study assessed, motorcycle accidents became the main cause of traffic deaths. Motorcyclists are the majority of dead, totaling 37% of the deaths and 59% of the injured in accidents, despite motorcycles representing only 27% of the national automotive fleet. The danger is especially greater in the Northeast. The houses the three states with greater load on death rates: Piauí (67%), Rio Grande do Norte (60%) and Maranhão (59%). The latest data are from 2014 because it is based on DataSus, the health systems databank.

Data from the Brazilian Center of Latin-American Studys Violence Map shows that in Piauí, the number of motorcycle accident victims is greater than the world average. In the Teresina Urgencies Hospital (HUT), 90% of the hospitalizations in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) are in this category. According to the neurosurgeon Daniel França, who works at the hospital, in average 40 patients are attended every day, rising up to 60 in weekends and holidays. To him, most of the accidents with trauma due to motorcycle crashes could be avoided. This is not an opinion, or an assumption, since this number is statistically proven. In early 2014, the Piauí State Government determined an intense traffic control aiming at motorcyclists and in only two weeks, Teresina alone, dropped by 25% the number of services at the HUT and a much greater rate if we only consider the injured riders, he says.

To the neurosurgeon – who developed with his patients a three-year research that showed that 70% of them were motorcycle accident victims, a number 700% greater than the world average – it is possible to reduce the number motorcycle accidents immediately and urgently by implementing intense and perpetual traffic control, besides using devices able to condition the motorcycles operation to helmet use. This is already a reality – it is called Guardian Angel. Education is also important, however its effects are only perceived after a few years, he adds while saying the main player of the absurd number of accidents is the reckless rider, who does not wear helmets, ingests alcohol while riding and ignores (and many times is unaware of) the traffic rules. We must educate the current riders and those who are still to become. With more control (for the current) and education (for the future riders), they will be ready to ride in the cities without greater damages, as it happens in the civilized world, he defends.

The bike that will not fall

Honda has developed a system – still a prototype – that can reduce the number of motorcycle accidents in slow traffic. According to the Japanese manufacturer, the system is able to move the front wheel stopping the bike from falling, working even when the bike is running and allowing it to move in slower speeds without anyone effectively riding it. According to the manufacturer, the system Riding Assist is based on the technology used on Uni-Cub, a single-person transportation system that uses the drivers body movements as a direction guide. Besides being developed to ensure the riders safety and offer more comfort and control for motorcycles, the system also made headlines for easing control for beginners. According to the engineer in charge of the project, Makoto Arai, it is not possible to estimate when the technology will hit the streets. The system must undergo many tests and is still very expensive.…