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Oklahoma Transportation Center Studies Motorcycle Crash Data

The good news is that federal data shows that the overall number of motorcyclist fatalities across the United States is declining. From 2008 to 2009 that number went down by an incredible 16 percent to 4,469, as was reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association.

A former senior official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Dr. James Hedlund reported that the number crept back up a bit to 4,957 in 2012. Hedlund doesn’t expect that to continue, noting in the “Spotlight on Safety” report that the expectation is that the number for 2013 will turn out to be 4,610.

But the real question is why?

Why is the number of fatalities from motorcycle accidents declining? If the reason is that other drivers are paying more attention to the road and following the warning on bumper stickers to “Start Seeing Motorcycles,” that’d be great. But is it the reason? Or are there fewer motorcycles on the road? Or is it simply a coincidence?

The answer is unclear, but the Oklahoma Transportation Center located at Oklahoma State University is tackling that challenge. The NHTSA, the Federal Highway Administration and the American Motorcyclist Association are all contributing funds in order to figure out which “factors are contributing to the decline,” said the AMA’s vice president for government relations.

Regardless of the answers that this research study finds, any number beyond zero is too many motorcyclist fatalities. Even the safest rider has to trust those that they share the road with. When that trust is broken, injured cyclists can seek compensation through the assistance of a Ponca City personal injury attorney.

Source: Motorcycle USA, “Motorcycle Fatalities Down 7% in 2013,” May 6, 2014