A conflicting report from the Governors Highway Safety Association carried both good and bad news for motorcycle enthusiasts in San Francisco and across the nation. The good news is that the overall number of motorcycle accident fatalities fell by approximately two percent from 2009 to 2010. The bad news is that this data may provide a misleading picture of the state of motorcycle safety, as researchers believe that certain “red flags” within the report could actually place motorcycle riders at greater risk for a fatal accident.
Let’s start by examining the good news first. The Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization that focuses on improving road safety, issued a publication on Tuesday claiming that almost 90 fewer motorcycle riders died on the roads during 2010 than the year before. This encouraging statistic marks the second consecutive year that the number of fatal motorcycle accidents has gone down, although the 2 percent fatality rate decrease appears small in comparison to the 16 percent decrease between 2008 and 2009.
However, researchers note that motorcycle fatalities did not consistently decline throughout the course of the year. The low number of accidents in early 2010 just barely compensated for the relative boon of fatalities which occurred later in the year. During some months, the number of fatal motorcycle accidents actually increased compared to the same time period in 2009.
So, what conclusions can be drawn from such a self-conflicting study? The reports creators recommend that each state make an extra effort to focus on promoting motorcycle safety with programs aimed at both riders and other motorists. The chairman of the Governors Highway Safety Association stated that all drivers need to learn how to share the road with different types of vehicles, large and small, in order to help keep the number of road fatalities down.
Source: US News, “Motorcycle Deaths Drop For Second Straight Year: Report.” Health Day News, April 19, 2011