2011 Preliminary Data provided by the Governors Highway Safety Association Download »
In 2010, more than 4,500 motorcycle fatalities were reported.
Motorcycle fatalities have dropped the past few years according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Unfortunately, so has the reported use of helmets, so many motorcycle accidents cause serious head injuries.
States across the U.S. are hoping to decrease the number of motorcycle-related injuries and deaths by:
- Encouraging helmet use. Wearing a helmet is required in more than 20 states
- Training police to identify drunken motorcyclists and increasing high-visibility drunk driving enforcement
- Enforcing speed limits. More than 35% of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding.
- Making rider training more accessible, with more courses at convenient times.
- Educating motorists about sharing the road with motorcycles.
Bikers can prevent crashes and injuries by:
- Keeping headlights and marker and taillights on at dusk and in dark or rainy weather
- Staying three to four seconds behind a vehicle they intend to pass, checking oncoming traffic from the left side of the lane, signaling the intention to turn, and then checking for oncoming traffic before passing.
- Checking their rearview mirror and quickly turn their head to ensure the vehicle is a safe distance behind them when completing a pass.
- Wearing helmets that meet a high protection standard.
- Wearing proper clothing, eyewear and sturdy, closed-toe footwear.
Motorists can help to make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions:
- Be extra cautious on weekends, when more motorcyclists take to the road.
- Provide motorcyclists adequate room to maneuver. Follow at least three to four seconds behind them.
- Allow extra maneuvering room in areas with potholes, pavement transitions and railroad crossings. Motorcyclists may need to slow down, stop or adjust their lane position.
- Never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Motorcycles have the same right to lanes as any other vehicle.
- If a motorcycle is nearby, check your mirrors carefully before changing lanes. Motorcycles may be in your blind spots or difficult to see because of their smaller size.