Analysis of motorcycle crashes and fatalities including the impact of distracted drivers in Texas
The main objectives of this research are to identify the key factors yield to motorcycle crashes and fatalities and to find the impact of distraction on motorcycle crashes. Vehicle Miles Travel and Crash Record Information System databases were collected from TxDOT to support this study. Data filtration and analysis using different tools and functions was done for all databases. Firstly, all the unnecessary data were excluded from the databases. Secondly, all the crashes that are not related to motorcycles were also excluded. Thirdly, three different files were merged into a single source file for each year. Vehicles involved in motorcycle crashes were filtered by excluding poor driving conditions to approximate the distracted driving factors causing motorcycle accidents. Driving motorcycle is riskier than driving other types of vehicles as remarked by the crashes and fatalities per 10,000 VMT records. Also, only 15.2% of the motorcycle crashes involve no injuries. Data suggest that distraction and lack of motorcycle conspicuity possibly cause most of the crashes. However, the analysis indicates critical causes lead to motorcyclist fatalities in Texas such as not wearing a helmet, driving under influence, driving in dark-unlighted roads, driving in curved roads, and poor weather conditions. Vehicles with distraction driving factors may lead to an estimated 33.4% of all motorcycles crashes. The estimated economic lost for all motorcycle crashes in 2009 to 2014 is $22,068,320,000. Suggested countermeasures include; adopting the universal helmet and statewide cell phone use ban laws that could approximately decrease the total motorcycle crashes by 10% each.