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More motorcyclists in hospitals

Use of a helmet and well paved streets help to prevent accidents

Léo Ramos Chaves / Revista Pesquisa FAPESP

On average, 30 motorcyclists in Brazil die in traffic accidents every day. The death toll remained stable between 2011 (11,485 annual deaths nationwide) and 2021 (11,115); the mortality rate also stayed the same, at close to 5.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health. During this period, however, the number of motorcyclists who were admitted to public hospitals as a result of traffic accidents increased by 55%: from 3.9 per 10,000 inhabitants in 2011 to 6.1 per 10,000 in 2021. Over the 10-year period, the cost of medical treatment and lost workdays increased from R$85 million to R$167 million. The main causes of accidents among motorcyclists include failure to wear a helmet, driving under the influence of alcohol, and speeding, in addition to low-quality paving (potholes), lack of inspections, and poor urban planning. At the same time, according to a study by the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo (FM-USP), the mortality rate among cyclists in Brazil has fallen from 7.91 per million inhabitants in 2006 to 1.8 per million in 2017, largely as a result of the increasing use of dedicated bicycle lanes (Boletim Epidemiológico, April 27; Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, April 7).