Published on Mar 23, 2010
Motorcycle Deaths Decrease for First Time in Years
Motorcycle deaths, have declined for the first time in 11 years, says the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In previous years, all other traffic fatalities fell while motorcycle fatalities rose.
The report, based on preliminary data, projected that motorcycle deaths fell at least 10% to 4,762 last year. The chairman of the GHSA warned that while this news is good, one year does not establish a trend. The association cited a number of reasons for the decrease, including:
- People drove fewer miles on motorcycles due to the economy.
- People had less disposable income, so fewer inexperienced riders bought motorcycles.
- Safety programs are making a difference – since 1997, more states have provided bikers with education and have enforced helmet, insurance, and drunk driving laws.
The GHSA said that there are still improvements to be made and suggested the following:
- Increase helmet use. Thirty states don't have universal mandatory helmet laws.
- Decrease drunk biking. About 30% of bikers killed in crashes are legally drunk, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Reduce aggressive driving. Thirty-five percent of bikers involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 23% of drivers.
- Offer bikers more training and education.
Source: "Motorcycle deaths down 10% in '09." USA Today. April 22, 2010.