If you’re black, ride a motorcycle, and live in the United States, you’re 50 percent more likely to die from a crash than your white friends.
A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that African-American riders were more likely to be wearing helmets at the time of a crash but were still more likely to die. Helmet for helmet, said the study’s senior author, African-Americans have deadlier injuries.
The researcher said a number of factors could influence racial survival rates, including preferences for different kinds of motorcycles or helmets, available health care, and previous injuries or health conditions. More research is needed, he said.
But in the study, which looked at the records of more than 60,000 motorcycle crash victims between 2002 and 2006, when factors such as severity of injury and insurance status were controlled, black riders were 1.5 times more likely to die. They were also one-third more likely to be wearing helmets.
When crashes occurred, African-American riders who wore helmets were more likely to die than caucasian riders who did not wear helmets, but black riders who did not wear helmets were more likely still to be killed.