A single solution for the motorcycle accident epidemic: strict obedience to the traffic laws

Neurosurgeon Daniel França alerts constant supervision is the only way to reduce the over 12 thousand death per year caused by this kind of accident


Of the motorcyclists hospitalized at the Teresina Emergency Hospital, 80% are not licenced drivers, 80% did not wear a helmet at the moment of the trauma and 50% confessed to have ingested alcohol immediately before riding the motorcycle

Likewise infectious diseases, the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine (BSTM) has among its concerns other factors that affect poor countries, as motorcycle accidents. In Brazil, for example, this problem is considered an epidemic that kills close to 12 thousand people per year. The solution to lighten this picture, according to the neurosurgeon Daniel França, is only one: strictly obey traffic laws.

A clear example of this affirmative was obtained during the first couple of weeks in 2014, in Teresina, Brazil, when the local government intensified monitoring to motorcyclists by random checkpoints in the city. The result was a decrease by 25% in the global flow in the Teresina Emergency Hospital during the period. Piaui State leads the Brazilian ranking of deaths by motorcycle accidents. From this, I conclude that there is no substitute for the strict obedience to traffic laws, wich will only happen if drivers are permanently absolutely certain of the monitoring and penalties, said Doctor França, who is Professor of Neurological Semiology at the Piaui State University (UESPI).

For him, the focus of the actions against motorcycle accidents should be prevention, and not only treatment in the health system. Not focusing on prevention, by the way, is the factor he pointed at for the low effectiveness of the measures used by the public services against this epidemic.

Doctor França stresses that educational campaigns have little immediate effect. He believes they are able to change the formation of future drivers, but cannot create significant and permanent changes in the current generation of car and motorcycle drivers. This means: the drivers sensible to the campaigns already have conscience they should obey the rules, while those who need this kind of information are inert to the caution signs in traffic.

Monitoring in our environment is very inefficient, nurturing impunity, stresses the neurosurgeon while adding this picture explains the current situation of the motorcyclists hospitalized at the Teresina Emergency Hospital: 80% are not licenced drivers; 80% did not wear a helmet at the moment of the trauma and 50% confessed to have ingested alcohol immediately before taking the bike.

Motorcycle block

Other actions that could lead to positive results, besides monitoring, is to compel bikers to wear a helmet. An initiative in this sense was developed in Piauí. It is the Guardian Angel, a device that blocks the bike if the driver is not wearing safety equipment and a jugular belt – in this case, the vehicle will trigger an alarm and, seconds later, will automatically shut down, bringing it to a stop. The motorcyle will only start again after the requirements have been fulfilled.

The product was developed by local businessman Agamenon Santa Cruz about two years ago and is still under tests. According to him, the devices main advantage is the protection of life. People will not wear helmets appropriately, especially in the North and Northeast regions of the Country, where indexes of head trauma by motorcycle crashes are very high, he remembers while highlighting the relevance to reduce public spending with the victims.

Another advantage of the device is preventing thefts. This happens because the helmet also becomes a key to the bike. It is programmed for that single vehicle and becomes another barrier against theft, he clarifies. The businessmans good idea still needs more funding to be enhanced and reach the shelves. The BSTM supports and expects other similar initiatives to multiply in the country.…