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The study examined the traffic volume by mode and established the prominence of the motorcycle as the principal mode of commuting in the city of Minna. Data was sourced through traffic census carried out by the author in November 2011, records from the general Hospital and the Federal Road Safety Corps Office in Minna. The analysis revealed that motorcycle traffic is particularly heavy in neighbourhoods off the main arterial road which concentrates 50% of all vehicular traffic, 83% of taxicabs and 35% of car movements in the entire city. The heavy volume of motorcycle traffic is reflected in the number of motorcycle crashes and casualties. Between 2000 and 2011, a total of 1,295 motorcycle crashes were recorded with August to December of every year as the worst months thus lending credence to the popular belief that the “ember” months are months of misfortune in Nigeria. During the same period, 13,918 motorcycle crash induced injuries and 227 deaths were recorded. The mean number of injured victims rose astronomically from 519 in the four-year period of 2000 – 2003 to 2,356 between 2008 – 2011. The study also revealed that behavioral factors such as dangerous driving, speed and route violation and driving under the influence of alcohol accounted for 75% of all the crashes.
Keywords: Motorcycle, traffic, crashes, casualties, accident factors