Motorcycle Deaths Decline

Feb 15, 2011 View Comments by

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2009 Fatality Analysis Reporting System, motorcyclist fatalities decreased 16-percent and injuries were 6.3-percent lower, despite the rising number of motorcycle miles traveled. This was the first decrease in fatalities in more than a decade, dropping to 4,462 in 2009 from 5,312 in 2008. According to NHTSA figures, motorcycling fatalities have decreased in the past — from 1980 to 1997 — but then fatalities increased steadily for 11 years. 2,294 motorcyclists were killed in 1998, and the number of fatalities rose each subsequent year, until 2008. Motorcyclists also had the second-greatest drop in deaths (right after large-truck drivers and occupants) and had the largest decline in alcohol-impaired fatalities, also with a 16-percent reduction. The NHTSA reports that 4,462 riders died in 2009, 850 fewer than in 2008. The reduction reportedly occurred even though motorcycle miles ridden increased approximately 5-percent in 2009. About 11-million motorcycles were in use in 2009, up 500,000 compared with 2008.

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