Easy, riders: Motorcycle injuries, deaths on the rise

National Safety Council
Tags: workplace safety

The hum of motorcycles is prevalent in summer. However, the sight of motorcycle collisions is also becoming common, related to a 48 percent increase in motorcycle registrations since 1995 and a steady rise in bike buyers. Non-fatal motorcycle injuries increased by 30,000 in the past decade (1995 to 2005) and fatalities rose 104 percent. Although fatalities increased across all age groups, the most shocking rise is among riders 40 years old and above.


The reason is Baby Boomers. Motorcycles are more popular than ever among Americans 40-and-above seeking pastimes to take into retirement. Today, this age group owns more than half of all motorcycles, up from just a quarter of them in 1990. Fatality rates follow close behind. In 1995, 50 percent of motorcycle deaths were among riders 30 or younger. By 2005, 47 percent of deaths were riders 40 years old and above.


For bikers who heed the call of the road, the National Safety Council reminds you to pair freedom with responsible driving.


Tips for Safer Cycling

In the U.S, motorcycle-related deaths represent about 5 percent of highway fatalities each year, yet motorcycles account for just 2 percent of all registered vehicles. For the most part, this is because motorcycles offer virtually no protection in a crash.


Safety is an attitude – and one that only motorcyclists themselves can opt for. Being committed to motorcycle safety means:

  • Following the basic operating safety rules
  • Understanding the environment
  • Riding safely in traffic
  • Treating other motorists with courtesy and respect
  • Not tailgating
  • Not riding between lanes of slow-moving or stopped traffic
  • Avoiding excessive noise by leaving the stock muffler in place or using a muffler with equivalent noise reduction
  • Using signals when appropriate

For more information on safety, visit the National Safety Council Web site at www.nsc.org.