Mortality rates of motorcyclists compared with car occupants: a comparison between East and West Germany for 1980 - 1998

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J Wessel
V Schneider

A tragic consequence of the reunification of Germany in 1989 was the increasein traffic related fatalities. This paper addresses motorcycle accidents inGermany before and after the reunification. Several sources of statisticswere used in order to get a database for further analysis. Comparisons aremade with car accidents and fatalities of vehicle occupants. Considerabledifferences are found for the period before 1989. After the reunificationaccident rates for the former German Democratic Republic increases with anenormous rate. The author discusses possible explanations to this phenomenon.In general, it is concluded, that a sudden push in motorisation with thepresence of vehicles with more powerful engines together with inexperienceddrivers and a less developed road network led to this increase in fatalities.For the western part of Germany there seems to be no effect at all of thereunification process when it comes to traffic related accidents.

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