Motorcycle Simulator Technology and Traffic-Related Injury Prevention: Global Health Potential
Road traffic related fatalities account for over 50% of the global deaths for individuals between ages 15 and 44 and ranks 11th in the cause of death for all age groups. It’s future impact is equally dismal: within the next decade road traffic related morbidity is projected to be the 6th leading contributor global fatalities and 3rd leading contributor to global Disability-Adjusted Life Years, disproportionately impacting the overall global burden of disease. However, national-level traffic safety intervention by global health organizations lacks programmed efforts to include vehicle simulation-based technologies as a key element of comprehensive national traffic safety programs. This is particularly true for two wheel vehicles in low and middle income countries (LMICs). Importantly, US resources in diplomacy settings are also subject to loss because of deployment into these risky settings, lack of adaptability to traffic cultures and systems locally, and limited skills training. The United States Marine Corps has utilized two wheel motorcycle simulation based technologies as part of a comprehensive education and training strategy to reduce fatalities and injuries amongst military personnel operating motorcycles off-duty. Positive experiences with motorcycle vehicle-simulator training program indicate further potential to validate impact on injury rates and efficacy of motorcycle simulator technology both for those assigned abroad and for relevant LMICs personnel. Other international professional and charitable organizations contending with similar risks abroad would also benefit from shared advances in traffic safety training utilizing motorcycle simulators. By improving traffic safety in these environments, health care resources can be shifted from expensive reactive, acute care trauma settings to investments in longer term public health infrastructures, medicines, and outreach.
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