May 22, 2012
A summer road trip on your motorcycle may be no safer than last year. No progress was made in reducing motorcyclist deaths in 2011, according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Based upon preliminary data from 50 states and the District of Columbia, GHSA projects that motorcycle fatalities remained at about 4,500 in 2011, the same level as 2010. Meanwhile, earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projected that overall motor vehicle fatalities declined 1.7 percent in 2011, reaching their lowest level since 1949. Motorcycle deaths remain one of the few areas in highway safety where progress is not being made.
Troy Costales, GHSA Chairman said, “It is disappointing that we are not making progress in motorcycle safety, particularly as fatalities involving other motorists continue to decline. As the study notes, the strengthening economy, high gas prices, and the lack of all-rider helmet laws leave me concerned about the final numbers for 2011 and 2012. Every motorcyclist deserves to arrive at their destination safely. These fatality figures represent real people – they’re family, friends and neighbors.” Costales added, “The good news is that we know how to prevent crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities involving motorcycle riders’ and their passengers. There are effective strategies that, if implemented, can make a difference.”
Specifically, the report recommends states address five issues:
This report comes just before Memorial Day Weekend, when at least five large motorcycle rallies are planned across the country, including “Rolling Thunder,” where approximately 100,000 motorcyclists convene in Washington, D.C. to pay tribute to the nation’s veterans. As Chairman Costales noted, “With so many motorcyclists on the road this month, it’s an opportune time to remind all motorists about this critical highway safety issue.”
Source: Governors Highway Safety Association, News Release – May 22, 2012 New Study: No Progress in Reducing Motorcyclist Deaths