Background Road traffic injuries and fatalities have increased in Colombia despite that 2011–2010 is the Decade of Road Safety Action. In the past few years mostly motorcyclists have been affected by fatality and trauma. This paper aims to describe the behaviour of motorcyclist fatality patterns in Colombia from 2000–2014.
Methods This longitudinal study used fatality records from the Colombian National Statistics Department and vehicle records from the Unified National Transit Registry and selected fatalities from International Classification of Diseases ICD-X V200 to ICD-X V299. The variables studied were year, age group, sex, department, and month of occurrence. A linear regression was used to identify the correlation between rates and fatalities, and the number of motorcycles during the period under study. The value P < 0.05 was used.
Results From 2000 to 2014 there was a near 100% increase in the number of motorcyclist fatalities in Colombia; the occurrence rate increased from 3.5/100,000 to 6.0/100,000 inhabitants. 65.4% of the fatalities affected persons 15 to 34 years of age; 87% of whom were men. 55% of the fatalities took place in six provincial departments (Antioquia, Valle, Bogotá, Huila, Santander, and Meta). The months with the most casualties were July (8.7%) and December (9.5%). The rate and fatality behaviour can be explained by an increase in the number of vehicles of up to 92% (P < 0.001).
Conclusions Motorcyclist fatalities have become a serious public health issue. There are many determining factors associated with their occurrence: motorcyclists with little safety gear, lax granting of driver’s licenses, weak processes for traffic law compliance (to control violation of laws and regulations, lack of safety gear, speeding, etc.), and inexpensive purchase plans for motorcycles. It is imperative to regulate motorcycle sales and to implement public policy that will prioritise compliance with national laws and regulations.