Background: While helmet usage is often mandated, few motorcycle and scooter riders make full use of protection for the rest of the body. Little is known about the factors associated with riders' usage or non-usage of protective clothing. Methods: Novice riders were surveyed prior to their provisional licence test in NSW, Australia. Questions related to usage and beliefs about protective clothing, riding experience and exposure, risk taking and demographic details. Multivariable Poisson regression models were used to identify factors associated with two measures of usage, comparing those who sometimes vs rarely/never rode unprotected and who usually wore non-motorcycle pants vs motorcycle pants. Results: Ninety-four percent of eligible riders participated and usable data was obtained from 66% (n = 776). Factors significantly associated with riding unprotected were: youth (17-25 years) (RR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.50-2.65), not seeking protective clothing information (RR = 1.29, 95% CI = 1.07-1.56), non-usage in hot weather (RR = 3.01, 95% CI: 2.38-3.82), awareness of social pressure to wear more protection (RR = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.12-1.95), scepticism about protective benefits (RR = 2.00, 95% CI: 1.22-3.28) and riding a scooter vs any type of motorcycle. A similar cluster of factors including youth (RR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.04-1.32), social pressure (RR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.16-1.50), hot weather (RR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.19-1.41) and scooter vs motorcycles were also associated with wearing non-motorcycle pants. There was no evidence of an association between use of protective clothing and other indicators of risk taking behaviour. Conclusions: Factors strongly associated with non-use of protective clothing include not having sought information about protective clothing and not believing in its injury reduction value. Interventions to increase use may therefore need to focus on development of credible information sources about crash risk and the benefits of protective clothing. Further work is required to develop motorcycle protective clothing suitable for hot climates.
- Protective clothing