The Report Is Out: Fewer Motorcyclist Fatalities in 2017

Posted by Lisa DiFalco on

The Report Is Out Motorscan Smartphone Personal Diagnostic Tool Diagnostica

While spouses and friends may worry about motorcycle crashes and fatalities, you should know that motorcyclists may be safer than ever before. This is good news for those living the life and continuing to ride out when weather permits.

What should Harley-Davidson owners and other motorcyclists know when it comes to changing statistics and an increase in motorcycle safety?

Learn more about the positive trends occurring that may be helping to prevent injuries and reduce fatalities today.

A Difference of 296 Lives

In preliminary data from GHSA, it appeared that there had been a decrease of 5.6 percent when it comes to motorcyclist fatalities in 2017, as only 4,990 people were killed in a motorcycle accident when compared to the 5,386 fatalities that took place in 2016. The reduction in fatalities may be due to:

  • More motorcylists wearing helmets as the gear does help save lives and prevent serious head trauma.
  • Fewer motorcylists riding without their license as over a quarter of those involved in fatal crashes in the past did not have a valid motorcycle license.
  • More attention to the speed limit as speeding has been a factor in about a third of fatal crashes in 2016.
  • Bad weather and a strong hurricane season during the year.

New state and nationwide laws as well as more focus on rider education may be serving to reduce motorcycle fatalities. Tara Casanova Powell, author of the report and independent researcher stated:

“Motorcyclist fatality numbers have fluctuated from year to year over the past decade, so while we are cautiously optimistic about this projection, we really need to see a sustained trend downward toward eventually eliminating motorcyclist fatalities altogether.”

Preventing Motorcycle Injuries

There is more pressure to increase adoption and enforcement of helmet laws and to make sure bikes have ignition interlocks, as suggested in Road to Zero Vision for Achieving Zero Roadway Deaths in 2050. Comparisons with other countries that have adopted a safe systems approach show that it is possible to reduce traffic deaths and improve traffic safety. Liisa Ecola, lead author of the report and a senior policy analyst at RAND said:

“The safe systems approach has saved lives in other countries. Sweden reduced the number of traffic deaths by more than half since the approach was introduced. This shows that we in the U.S. can make large strides in traffic safety with existing technologies and policies.”

Harley riders who keep their bike and gear in top shape can do their part to ensure better handling. Harley riders who are looking to get a new used bike may want to explore the “certified pre-owned” bikes available from franchised dealers or perform a title history search for any recalls or complaints that may make some bikes more prone to specific issues. Troubleshooting a bike and addressing problems before taking a longer ride may help decrease the likelihood that a potential accident is due to an issue with the bike. Share how you stay safe when riding in a comment below or tweet @DiagnosticaNews.


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