MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES PLUMMET
Motorcyclists have worked hard over the past decade-and-a-half to promote two wheeled safety. They’ve developed rider-training programs, funded by motorcyclists themselves, now covering 45 states. They’ve raised riders’ awareness of the dangers of impaired riding. They’ve campaigned to make car drivers more conscious of motorcycles on the road.
And all that effort is paying big dividends.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just reported that motorcycle-related fatalities dropped to 2,304 in 1994, exactly half the reported fatalities of 10 years ago. That’s a 50 percent drop in fatalities in a single decade!
During the same time period, car makers introduced a number of new safety devices most notably anti-lock braking systems and air bags yet automobile related deaths dropped just 7 percent. And fatalities in the light truck category actually went up 37 percent.
Of course, there are those in the safety community who continue trying to portray motorcycles as a form of transportation suited only for those with a certifiable death wish, but it should be noted that motorcycles now account for only six-tenths of one percent of vehicles involved in highway crashes nationwide.
“Motorcycles are often still used as examples of dangerous transportation, notes Robert Rasor, AMA vice president of government relations. “But what the federal government’s own figures show is that we should instead be a model for how to improve safety.”
Reprinted with permission from American Motorcyclist magazine, February 1996