IRVINE, Calif., May 25, 2012 – The Motorcycle Safety Foundation commends the 23 states that experienced a decrease in motorcyclist fatalities during the first nine months of 2011, as compared to the first nine months of 2010, as reported by the Governors Highway Safety Association earlier this week.
Also included in the GHSA report was the fact that many of these states experienced "notable declines" in motorcycle-related fatalities. These included Connecticut, where they dropped 37 percent, as well as New York and North Carolina, where they fell 16 and 21 percent, respectively. State officials attributed these declines to implemented countermeasures that include educating motorcyclists and non-motorcyclists alike.
"While the MSF applauds the governors and policymakers applying motorcycle-related safety countermeasures and supporting rider training programs, there is still much to be done to improve motorcyclist safety," said MSF President Tim Buche. "According to a special report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56 percent of motorcyclist fatalities occur as a result of multi-vehicle crashes. The MSF urges motorcyclists to pursue training and reduce their risk levels, but we also support state governments in their efforts to increase overall motorcycle awareness and encourage safe driving practices in relation to the growing number of motorcyclists on the roads today."
The NHTSA special report also maintained that in the multi-vehicle crashes where a motorcyclist fatality occurred, the most common type of incident was when the front of the motorcycle struck the side of the passenger vehicle (i.e., when a passenger vehicle turns left in front of a motorcycle). Additionally, NHTSA reported that only 4 percent of motorcyclists were responsible for right-of-way violations, compared to 35 percent of passenger vehicle drivers.
To combat these challenges, the MSF encourages all motorcyclists to be pro-active in increasing their training and becoming more competent riders who apply good strategies on the road and use appropriate, high-visibility safety gear. To that end, the MSF has developed 23 RiderCourses, websites and apps for riders and drivers, a comprehensive quality assurance program, continual process and curriculum improvement protocols, professional development programs and more.
"The MSF's multi-faceted programs offer advanced, hands-on exercises to help improve rider skills and strategies," said MSF Vice President Robert Gladden. "But the MSF isn't limited to educating motorcyclists. The MSF also promotes safety awareness initiatives aimed at other motorists with websites like www.forcardrivers.com and groundbreaking research like the world's first large-scale naturalistic study with the MSF 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study."
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation® promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF® have been recognized worldwide since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit www.msf-usa.org or call (800) 446-9227.