MSF: Reduced Motorcycle Deaths Report

GHSA Crash Report

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is encouraged by the report issued today by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which indicated motorcyclist fatalities in the United States decreased in 2009 based on preliminary data supplied by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

"We appreciate the effort GHSA put into this survey, and the states’ roles in providing countermeasures through rider education, licensing/endorsements, driver awareness campaigns, and law enforcement," said Tim Buche, MSF chief executive officer. "However, there is still a lot of work to do for everyone involved in the traffic safety community because riders aren’t the only ones on the road.

The MSF’s primary focus is rider training and education and we urge policymakers to implement improved and expanded rider training programs in their respective states that will give motorcyclists more competence and improved street strategies from a specially certified MSF RiderCoach."

Buche said MSF recently released greatly expanded, comprehensive curricula that raise what is generally perceived as the minimum threshold of motorcycle riding competence. The "Essential CORESM Curriculum," which the MSF recommends as the minimum training for every beginning rider, includes the current MSF Basic RiderCourseSM, the new Street RiderCourse that takes students into traffic, and the new Basic Bike-BondingSM RiderCourse that features skill drills to help students handle their own motorcycles. The Essential CORE curriculum anchors three levels of training that provide more challenging hands-on exercises to help riders achieve finer skills plus increased capabilities for awareness, judgment and risk management.

"We want highly skilled riders who make safety a priority out on the streets," Buche said. "We hope policymakers will make these programs available to new, returning and experienced riders." According to owner survey data supplied by the Motorcycle Industry Council, only half of the riders surveyed have taken a training course. Enrolling in an MSF RiderCourse is available at . There are more than 1,500 RiderCourse sites throughout the United States.

MSF also recently partnered with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on a groundbreaking naturalistic study of motorcyclists: The MSF Naturalistic Study of Motorcyclists. Video cameras and data acquisition sensors will be used to track riders over an extended period to create a comprehensive picture of many factors contributing to both crashes and near-crashes.

One of these factors is motorists who have a lot going on and may not be aware or see motorcyclists. MSF urges car and truck drivers take the time to look for motorcyclists and has initiated various driver awareness programs, such as

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973.

The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourse nearest you, visit or call (800) 446-9227.