Injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in the approaching turn crash configuration.
A common crash configuration involving a motorcycle and another vehicle is termed the 'approaching turn collision', which occurs when a vehicle turns left into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Although research has explained some causes of approaching turn collisions, few studies have described injury outcomes specific to approaching turn collisions involving motorcycles. All fatally injured and a sample of over 3500 nonfatally injured motorcycle riders treated in one of 28 hospitals in 11 California counties were included in this analysis if the crash occurred in 1991 or 1992 and both a police crash report and matching medical diagnoses were available. Injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in approaching turn collisions were compared with injuries sustained by motorcycle riders in other crash types. Injuries occurring when the motorcycle was the left-turning vehicle were compared to those occurring when the car is the left-turning vehicle. Riders in approaching turn collisions had increased lower extremity and abdominal injuries, but less frequently had head, chest, and facial injuries than riders in other crash types. The average ISS score, percent fatally injured, and average number of days in the hospital were greater for riders in approaching turn collisions than riders in other crash types, except the head-on collision. Possible strategies to reduce injuries from approaching turn collisions are discussed. The complexity of turning actions, particularly judgements of speed, could potentially be an intervention point to reduce crash occurrence.