Epidemiology, injury characteristics and clinical outcomes of bicycle and motorcycle accidents in the under 20 population: South Korea

Hyeokmin Yun, Sung Jin Bae, Jung Il Lee, Duk Hee Lee

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Background: Bicycles and motorcycles are a main means of transportation and leisure for individuals aged under 20 years in South Korea. We aimed to identify the epidemiology of injuries and describe and compare patterns of injury and clinical outcomes of two-wheel vehicle-related accidents in these individuals. Methods: We analysed data obtained from the National Emergency Department Information System for 401 emergency departments (EDs) from January 2016 to December 2018. We included patients aged < 20 years who experienced injuries while driving or a passenger on two-wheeled vehicles. We analysed patients with a bicycle-related injury and those with a motorcycle-related injury, and then compared two groups and performed a regression analysis for factors predicting severe trauma. Results: This study enrolled 54,342 two-wheel vehicle injury patients (37,410 bicycle and 16,932 motorcycle-related), of which, 86.8% (bicycle) and 94.9% (motorcycle) were males. External injuries were the most common. ED mortality was 9 (0.0%) for bicycles and 53 (0.3%) for motorcycles. Overall, 3,346 (8.9%) patients were hospitalised with bicycle injuries and 4,096 (24.2%) with motorcycle injuries. Among admitted patients with bicycle-related injuries, 48.7% had upper extremity injuries and among those admitted patients with motorcycle-related injuries, 76.0% had lower extremity injuries. Among hospitalised patients, the mean injury severity score (ISS) was 12.0 ± 12.6 in bicycle-related injury and 17.6 ± 15.4 in motorcycle-related injury. The number of patients with ISS ≥ 16 was 27.6% for bicycle related injuries and 45.2% for motorcycle-related injuries. The mean length of hospital stay was 191.5.8 ± 224.2 h for bicycle injury, and 359.6 ± 416.7 h for motorcycles. Hospital mortality cases were 0.2% with bicycle injury and 1.2% with motorcycle injury. Motorcycle-related injuries had more severe injury (ISS ≥ 16), with an adjusted odds ratio of 2.825 (95% confidence interval 2.610–3.059) compared to bicycle-related injuries. Conclusions: In the population aged under 20 years, two-wheel vehicle-related occurred predominantly in males. When using two-wheeled vehicles, motorcycle injuries were higher in patients aged over 14 years and were associated with higher ISS (≥ 16). Political efforts should be made to educate under 20 years of age for safe driving and to wear protective gear, including helmets to prevent severe injury.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
JournalBMC Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Adolescence
  • Bicycle Injury
  • Fracture
  • Injury
  • Motorcycle Injury
  • Paediatric


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