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We are pleased to bring you our first edition of Fast Facts. This is a brief report on
local data that we believe you will find useful in both understanding and improving the
health of our community. Our goal is to keep it brief and instructive and to provide
opportunities for all persons to positively impact the issue.  


We hope you find it helpful. Please feel free to forward to colleagues, board members

and others in the community.

Motorcycle-Related Fatalities
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motorcycle-related deaths have increased by 55% since 2000. Motorcycle crashes killed 4,502 people nationwide in 2010. In Allen County we experienced a significant increase over the past few years.

Preventing debilitating injuries and deaths from motorcycle crashes is a growing public health concern. 


Motorcycle/Moped Deaths in Allen County 2010 to July 2012 




Number of deaths




Age range

32 to 62 years

25 to 63 years

19 to 59 years

Mean age

47 years

47 years

38 years

Was driver of vehicle




Number helmet usage known




Number wore helmet

0 (0%)

1 (14%)

1 (8%)



As you can see, Allen County mirrors national data that finds motorcyclist fatalities are rising fastest among motorcycle riders over age 40:


 Motorcyclists killed by age group and year



Obviously the most devastating consequence of a motor vehicle accident is death and the subsequent grief and loss to the family. Motorcyclists are about 37% more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash (NHTSA, 2009).

In addition, the economic burden from crash-related injuries and deaths from motorcycle accidents in one year alone totaled $12 billion for the United States. 

Helmets reduce the risk of death by 37% and are 67% effective in preventing brain injuries to motorcycle riders (NHTSA, 2009).

What Can I Do?

As a healthcare provider: 

  • Assess and encourage helmet use for all types of vehicles: motorcycles, bikes, and in-line skates - for patients of all ages.
  • As studies show that lack of parental awareness was the most frequent reason for not purchasing helmets, experts suggest that pediatricians educate parents about the importance of wearing helmets.

 As a parent:   

  • Establish the helmet habit early; insist that your children wear helmets when they first begin to ride bikes or scooters or skate boards - even if they are a passenger on the bike. 
  • There are many things you can tell your children to persuade them to use a helmet:
    • Bikes are vehicles, not toys.
    • They can hurt their heads permanently or even die from head injuries.
    • You love and value them and their health.
  • Wear a helmet yourself; 95% of kids wear a helmet when riding with an adult who wore a helmet.

As a public official or funder: 

  • In 2007, 63% of fatally injured motorcycle riders were not wearing a helmet in states without all-rider helmet laws, compared with only 14% in states with all-rider helmet laws (NHTSA, 2008).
  • By an overwhelming majority (80%), Americans favor state laws requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets (Lou Harris, for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 2004).
  • An estimated $13.2 billion was saved from 1984 through 1999 because of motorcycle helmet use. An additional $11.1 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets (NHTSA, 2000).
  • The only safety measure that costs little to initiate and reaches all riders is a state universal motorcycle helmet law. It is also the only measure proven to improve motorcycle safety. This legislation would save both lives and money.
  • Safety Village offers classes, bicycle rodeos, bicycle riding training and other safety information to schools, daycares, scouting groups and others. Programs may be tailored to fit group needs. Contact Joyce Van Pelt at (260) 427-1241.
  • New Haven Police Department offers an annual Bicycle Safety Rodeo. This is a bicycle safety course that teaches children to be safe while riding bicycles. There is also free bicycle helmets and fitting for children who do not have one. Contact Officer McKinnon at (260) 748-7080.
  • Parkview Trauma Center offers a Bike Helmet Safety Program to the community. The Parkview Safety Store at 1818 Carew Street, Suite 140, provides bicycle and all-sports helmets at discounted costs for adults and children. The Safety Store is open every Wednesday from 4p.m.-7p.m. Additionally, Parkview staff conducts bicycle "rodeos" in the community to teach bicycle safety and to encourage use of bicycle helmets. For information about upcoming Bicycle Rodeos, please call (260) 373-7201.
  • The McMillen Center for Health Education's Web site has links to several different articles on Kid Safety. You can find articles on bike safety by going to the home page and clicking on "links". On the links page click on Kids' Health and then go to Parent's Site. Choose the first aid and safety button to find articles relating to bicycle safety.
  • ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Towards Education) administers the Indiana Motorcycle Operator Safety Education Program throughout the State of Indiana. For additional information or to register for a course in the Fort Wayne area contact:
    800) 232-2283 or (317) 422-8474.                              


Fast Facts is a collaboration of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health and
United Way of Allen County 2-1-1
  Contact Deborah McMahan, MD or John Silcox
 c/o Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health