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Spotlights on Highway Safety Issues

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State

GHSA publishes annual motorcyclist fatality reports as part of its Spotlight on Highway Safety Issues series.

GHSA's State Highway Safety Office (SHSO) members provide the data used in the reports. Dr. James Hedlund of Highway Safety North, and a former senior official with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), authored all the motorycle fatality reports.

2013 Preliminary Data

Published May 2014

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2013 Preliminary Data cover
This report predicts a 7 percent drop in the overall motorcyclist fatalities from 2012 to 2013, based on preliminary data provided by all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

A return to cooler, wetter weather in the early months of the year is the primary explanation for the drop in fatalities. The report notes that we cannot rely on bad weather to continue to improve motorcycle safety. Learn More

2012 Preliminary Data

Published April 2013

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2011 Preliminary Data cover

This report projects that motorcyclist fatalities increased 9 percent between 2011 and 2012, based on preliminary data supplied by the states.

Unseasonably warm weather, an improving economy, and rising gas prices are suggested as factors that may have contributed to this spike in motorcycle deaths. The report recommends several proven countermeasures to help reverse the trend. Learn More

2011 Preliminary Data

Published May 2012

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2011 Preliminary Data cover
This report projects that the number of motorcyclist traffic fatalities in the United States was about the same in 2011 as in 2010.

The report also discusses how a strengthening economy and rising gas prices may influence fatality numbers and recommends five strategies that states can implement to help make a difference in keeping motorcyclists safer on our nation's roadways. Learn More

2010 Preliminary Data

Published April 2011

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2010 Preliminary Data cover
This report projects a decline in motorcycle fatalities of at least 2 percent from 2009.

While the national decline is good news, there are some areas of concern, such as: a much smaller decline than the prior year; a 3 percent increase in fatalities in the third quarter; an expected rise in motorcycle travel; and a recent drop in motorcycle helmet use. Learn More

2009 Preliminary Data

Published April 2010

Motorcyclist Traffic Fatalities by State: 2009 Preliminary Data cover

This report projects that motorcyclist traffic fatalities in the United States fell in 2009, the first drop since 1997. The decrease for the full year nationwide was expected to be at least 10 percent.

States suggested several reasons for the decrease, including less motorcycle travel due to the economy, fewer beginning motorcyclists, and increased attention to motorcycle safety programs in the states. Learn More