Report Says Motorcycle Deaths Plateaued in 2011

A new report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says that, on average, deaths caused by motorcycle accidents stayed the same from 2010 to 2011 across the country. Fatalities increased in 26 states and decreased in 23 states. One state’s fatality count stayed the same.

The news is discouraging to many state agencies since motorcycle fatalities decreased by 16 percent in 2009, a stark change from the steady increase in motorcycle deaths every year since the mid-90s. Experts attribute the steady fatality rate to two factors:

  • Economy. As the economy strengthens, people have more disposable income that they can spend on motorcycles. Motorcycle accident rates typically mirror motorcycle registration rates. Alternately, riders in states with poor economies might choose to purchase a motorcycle instead of a car to save money.
  • Gas prices. As gas prices continue to climb, more people choose to ride on more fuel-efficient motorcycles.

The report indicates that some states, including Colorado, noted that safety training programs may have been responsible for a change in motorcycle fatality rates.

While Colorado motorcycle laws do not require riders to take a motorcycle safety course, it is highly recommended for new riders. Experienced motorcyclists could also benefit from a refresher course. More education and training could decrease the fatality count in 2012.

The Metier Law Firm, LLC Denver injury attorneys

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