► Motorcycle News 2010
Motorcycle Accident Statistics for 2009
Photo by energykind, Netherlands.
Edited by webBikeWorld.com
Drop in 2009
First Decline in 12 Years
Motorcycle Safety Page
April 23, 2010 - A recent report indicates that
motorcycling fatalities in the U.S.A. dropped by at
least 10 percent in 2009, which is the first decline in
12 years, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA)
Based on preliminary data, the Governors Highway Safety
Association (GHSA), which represents the state highway
safety offices nationwide, projects that motorcycling
deaths declined from 5,290 in 2008 to 4,762 or fewer in
The projection is based on data collected from the 50
states and the District of Columbia.
The report, released April 22, is based on a survey of
GHSA members, who reported fatality numbers for their
states. The GHSA notes that while data are still
preliminary, most states have final fatality counts for
at least nine months of 2009, giving GHSA confidence to
predict that the death count will be down by at least 10
percent for the year.
The GHSA cautioned that the report only involves one
year, so it's too soon to predict a steady decline.
"We will need to see three to five years of decline
before we are ready to say that a positive trend has
developed," said GHSA Chairman Vernon Betkey.
In fact, the report points out that fatalities have
significantly decreased in the past but then rose again.
For example, from 1980 to 1997 motorcycling fatalities
dropped by almost 60 percent but fatalities then
increased steadily from 1997 through 2008.
2,294 motorcyclists were killed in 1998, according to
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
which gathers its data from the same sources as the GHSA.
That number increased steadily each year, reaching 5,290
The reasons for the decline in motorcycle fatalities
in 2009 is not known, but worsening economic conditions
causing fewer new riders, fewer miles ridden and casual
riders selling their motorcycles could be supporting
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) formally
announced a new crash causation study on October 5,
2009. The FHWA is overseeing the four-year, $3
million study, which is being conducted by Oklahoma
State University through the Oklahoma Transportation
Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
The last major study into the causes of motorcycle
crashes was issued in January 1981.
Called "Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and
Identification of Countermeasures Volume I: Technical
the study became known as the "Hurt Report" after lead
researcher Harry Hurt of the University of Southern
California. Hurt was inducted into the AMA
Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007 for his pioneering work.
That study provided a wealth of data that has been used
by organizations and individual motorcyclists to help
keep riders safer on the road.
But the traffic
environment has changed enormously in the decades since,
prompting the AMA to begin campaigning for a new study
several years ago.
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