Motorcycle Fatalities and Injuries Decrease | NHTSAAccording to the latest available data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), deaths and injuries resulting from motorcycle crashes decreased in 2013 from the levels seen in 2012.

Based on data from the 2013 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data that shows a 3.1-percent decrease from the previous year and a nearly 25 percent decline in overall highway deaths since 2004.

In 2013, 32,719 people died in traffic crashes—involving all types of vehicles. The estimated number of people injured in crashes by all vehicle types also declined by 2.1 percent.

The Fatality Analysis Reporting System contains data for a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a trafficway customarily open to the public and must result in the death of at least one person (occupant of a vehicle or a non-motorist) within 30 days of the crash.

According to the FARS data, 4,668 motorcyclists were fatally injured in crashes in 2013, down 318 from 2012 when 4,986 fatalities occurred – a 6.4 percent decrease. Injuries also decreased among motorcyclists dropping to 88,000 in 2013 from 93,000 in 2012, a decline of 5,000 or 5.3 percent. To read the official report, visit NHTSA.

This will be welcome news to policy-makers and regulators who sounded the alarm when the 2012 data showed a nine percent increase over 2011 and continued increases year-on-year.

For example, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) chairman Kendell Poole reacted to the 2012 increase with this statement in a press release: “All of the trends with motorcyclist deaths are really going in the wrong direction. This report [referring to the 2012 data] is an urgent reminder that we must do more to address a problem that will only get worse with increased ridership. We are talking about 5,000 tragedies a year with no sign of progress.

“The good news is that we know how to prevent crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities involving motorcycle riders and their passengers. There are effective strategies that, when implemented, can make a difference.”

The report issued by the GHSA outlined a number of ways to reduce motorcyclist deaths such as increasing helmet use; reducing speeding and impaired riding; providing rider training to all who need or want it; ensuring proper licensing of riders and encouraging all drivers to share the road with motorcyclists.

For more on coverage on the GHSA report and proposed strategies, click here.