The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released their study yesterday and although it showed that traffic deaths declined and fewer people were killed in alcohol-related crashes on U.S. highways for a second straight year, motorcycle fatalities grew nearly 8 percent last year to 4,008.
The Associated Press article focused on the motorcycle fatalities and said:
"Motorcycle fatalities grew nearly 8 percent last year to 4,008, the first time it has topped more than 4,000 deaths since 1987. Motorcycle deaths have increased seven years in a row and safety groups have attributed it to the repeal of helmet laws in several states. Tom Lindsay, a spokesman for the Ohio-based American Motorcyclist Association, said strong data on what has caused the motorcycle fatalities has not been available. He said the highway bill Congress approved last week included funding for the first major study of motorcycle crash data since the late 1970s."
A few thoughts here;
There are more bikes on the road than ever and I wonder if you plotted the number of registered motorcycles against the accident statistics if they would track each other in proportional growth.
I always wear a helmet myself and have to put some merit in the thought about the helmet laws being repealed in some states (like sunny Florida actually).
Regardless, this should serve as a reminder for all of us to be extra careful out there.