Motorcycle Fatalities Drop In 2010

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report detailing the motorcycle accident casualties in 2010. The report was written by Dr. James Hedland of Highway Safety North. A total of 4,376 people died in motorcycle accidents during 2010, a two percent decline from 2009.

In 2009 a similar report from the GHSA found that motorcycle fatalities dropped by sixteen percent. This encouraging decline in fatalities follows eleven consecutive years of increased numbers of deaths. Motorcycle fatalities increased by 150 percent from 1997 through 2008, a period during which overall traffic fatalities declined.

The reported nationwide total is based on data for the first nine months of the year compiled from all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The authors were confident in projecting the numbers for the last few months of the year. The 2009 report was created similarly and was within 0.1 percent of the correct percentage of decline.

Around half of the states reported decreased numbers of motorcycle fatalities. Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas reported the most significant change with thirty, twenty seven and sixteen percent decreases, respectively.

Oregon GHSA Chairman Troy Costales claims his state's improved safety is due a new law cracking down on those riding without proper license certification and the state's new, revamped training program.

Maryland GHSA Chairman Vernon Betkey said his state has increased investment in statewide public information and education and has toughened up on training and licensing requirements.

Although many factors influence motorcycle safety, the 2009 drop has been credited to the nationwide recession that resulted in less recreational driving. The GHSA report recommends that states focus on campaigning to promote awareness and public education concerning helmet use and the dangers of driving while impaired and speeding. The report also suggests that motorcycle operator training should be available to all new motorcycle riders.

Although last year's decline in motorcycle deaths is a sign of improvement, some were expecting a more substantial decline, like that of 2009. Fatalities were significantly lower in the first few months of 2010 than toward the end of the year.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to understand the options available to you.