According to a recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), an estimated 5,000 motorcyclists lost their lives on U.S. roads in 2012. This figure is near an all—time high and represents a 9 percent increase from 2011. Motorcyclists are one of the few roadway user groups where no progress has been seen over the past decade, the GHSA report noted.
The projected number of motorcyclist deaths for 2012 is based on state-by-state data for the first nine months of the year. Similar projections in previous years mirrored the final numbers.
Data comparison for the first nine months of 2011 and 2012 revealed the number of motorcyclist deaths increased in 34 states last year, decreased in 16 states, and stayed the same in the District of Columbia. Increases were noted in every region of the country and were quite high in many states. For example, motorcyclist deaths rose 32 percent in Oregon and 29 percent in Indiana.
The report also found that the number of states with compulsory helmet laws had dropped from 26 in 1997 to just 19 states in 2012.
The report outlined a number of ways to reduce motorcyclist deaths. These include: increasing helmet use; reducing speeding and impaired riding; providing rider training to all who need or want it; ensuring proper licensing of riders; and encouraging all drivers to share the road with motorcyclists.
SOURCE: Governors Highway Safety Association, news release, April 24, 2013