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NHTSA Announces Drop in Motorcycle Fatalities

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that motorcycle fatalities have dropped for the second year in a row, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). According to the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS data, collected by the federal government, motorcycle fatalities for 2013 dropped from 4,986 to 4,668 a difference of 318. The motorcycle fatality drop was the largest percentage of all vehicle groups at 6.4 percent. This is the second year on year drop in motorcycle fatalities since 2009.

This is an encouraging trend, but it is likely just that. It is a promising direction, since more motorcycles continue to be registered year after year.

Another aspect motorcyclists can be proud of is the decrease in the number of alcohol related deaths. Fatal crashes where alcohol was a factor dropped by 117 deaths, or 8.3 percent, also the largest decrease in the category.

Also reported was the drop in the number of injured motorcyclists from 93,000 to 88,000, a 5.4 percent drop. Eighty-eight thousand still seems like an awfully large number but consider that the number of passenger vehicle injuries is 2,046,000 for 2013. The drop in injured motorcyclists is again the largest decrease in the category.

One unfortunate aspect of the report is that motorcyclist fatalities now take up 14 percent of the total fatalities. This is likely a direct result of more motorcycle licenses being issued and more motorcycle registrations being reported. Highway motorcycles saw a two percent increase in sales in 2013, and manufacturers are reporting record setting sales for 2013, according to the Motorcycle Industry Council. As with any increase in a vehicle population, it is predictable that fatalities would also rise.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes that through strong rider education programs and prolific motorcycle awareness campaigns this drop in motorcycle fatalities can continue. Feel free to contact the MRF for any information on motorcycle fatality avoidance campaigns.

Read the full NHTSA reports here: