In a report released by the AMA, which used data collected by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), on-road motorcycle falatities dropped by at least 10% during 2009 when compared to the year before. In 2008 there were 5,290 motorcycle deaths on US highways,  but in 2009 this figure dropped to 4,762 deaths.

2008 was a record setting year not only in motorcycle sales, but also in motorcycle fatalities. Conversely, 2009 saw a massive reduction in motorcycle sales, and a 180° turn in motorcycle fatalities. With the upward trend of total deaths mirroring the trend of increasing motorcycle sales, and now also mirroring the recent downward trend in motorcycle sales, the correlation would seem obvious, if not logical.

Unsure about what causes motorcycle crashes in the first place, the Federal Highway Administration plans to commission a $3 million study over the next 4 years that will look into the causes of motorcycle crashes, and then in turn fund the programs that address these problems.

The last time the US government investigated on-road motorcycle fatalities was in 1981 in a study known better as the “Hurt Report”. Named after lead researcher Harry Hurt of the University of Southern California, Hurt was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2007 for his pioneering work.

This new study will supplement the Hurt Report and provide new data that addresses the changing road conditions that have manifested in the 20 year timeframe from when the Hurt Report was commissioned.

Source: AMA

  • Doctor Jelly

    “Unsure about what causes motorcycle crashes in the first place…”

    Gimme the 3 million and I’ll tell them.

  • Pingback: Asphalt_Rubber()

  • Sean

    Be glad you have people in Govt willing to look into the real causes of motorcycle crashes rather than passing laws based on old wives tales.

  • Jesse

    Inexperience and lack of respect on and around the machines is probably pretty high up there.

  • Chuck

    The manufacturers make it easy for young adults to buy a motorcycle by offering their credit cards and in-house financing which then in turn doesn’t require the young adult to have insurance on the bike because there is no bank loan/bank requiring them to carry it. This same young adult will ride around with a temporary permit until it expires and then simply renew it 2 more times until the state says they must now get their endorsement. But now that young adult will not go take a MSF course to get their license because riding around on a Honda 250 Rebel versus their Superbike Replica isn’t cool. All of this leads to a young inexperienced rider with very poor riding ability and judgment.

    So you ask what causes crashes? A lack of training, experience, poor judgment and younger riders that refuse to get a license and proper training. And don’t even get me started on the HD/Cruiser crowd that think going for a ride should include stopping at every little bar in every little town and downing a couple before continuing on!