Motorcycling News and News Releases

Motorcycling Laws and Legislation

Support for Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle Crash Research:
Causation, Prevention, Mitigation,
Legislation, and Remediation

Motorcyclist Safety Programs

Motorcycling General Interest

Motorcycle Crash Studies and Statistics

Research to Prevent Crashes and Reduce Injuries

The findings of the Hurt Report referenced below, published over three decades ago, are still relevant today. To briefly summarize the report’s conclusions regarding helmet use, Hurt found that

  1. using a safety helmet is the single critical factor in the prevention or reduction of head injury;
  2. that the safety helmet is a significantly effective injury countermeasure; and
  3. that helmeted riders and passengers showed significantly lower head and neck injury for all types of injury, at all level of injury severity.

Motorcycle Crash Causation Studies

  • Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors & Countermeasures - the full "Hurt Report"

    The Hurt Report published in 1981 identified several factors involved in motorcycle crashes. A comprehensive study of Michigan’s serious motorcycle crashes shows that nearly thirty years later, those same factors are still present in today’s crashes. Successfully reducing Michigan’s motorcycle crashes will require serious, dedicated, and undoubtedly controversial measures.
    Michigan Motorcycle Safety Action Plan - 2009-2012

  • NHTSA Alphabetical Index of Motorcycle Safety Documents
    • Motorcycle Crash Causes & Outcome: Pilot Study - a comprehensive, in-depth motorcycle crash causation study (MCCS) designed to provide a better understanding of motorcycle crashes in order to develop more appropriate countermeasures, the likes of which has not been conducted or sponsored by the U.S. DOT in over 30 years
    • Fatal Two-Vehicle Motorcycle Crashes - a NHTSA report released September 2007 that analyzed fatal two-vehicle motorcycle crashes for trends and crash characteristics using FARS data of crashes in 2005, with these and other eye-opening findings as to the role motorcycle operators played in crash causation:
      1. In nearly three-fourths of the two-vehicle motorcycle crashes involving passenger vehicles, the role of the motorcycle was recorded as the striking vehicle.
      2. Alcohol involvement among motorcycle operators killed was almost 2.5 times the alcohol involvement of the passenger vehicle drivers involved in these crashes. Of the alcohol involved (BAC .01+) motorcycle operators killed in these crashes 69 percent had BACs of .08+, which is above the illegal limit in all States.
      3. Twenty-four percent of the motorcycle operators killed in two-vehicle crashes involving passenger vehicles in 2005 had an invalid license compared to 8 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers involved in these crashes.
      4. Of the motorcycle operators who were killed in two-vehicle motorcycle crashes involving passenger vehicles 27 percent were speeding at the time of the crash compared to 4 percent of the passenger vehicle drivers who were involved in these crashes.
      5. In 55 percent of the head-on two-vehicle crashes involving motorcycles and passenger vehicles, the role of the motorcycle was recorded as the striking vehicle and in 68 percent of the rear-end crashes the role of the motorcycle was recorded as the striking vehicle.
  • Motorcycle Accidents In Depth Study (MAIDS) - the first complete European in-depth study of motorcycle accidents
  • An In-Depth Study of Motorcycle Crashes - London 1994

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Motorcycle Crash Injury Outcome

Injury Severity and Causation Factors of Motorcyclists in Traffic Accidents in comparing Drivers of Motorcycle and All Kinds of Motorized Two-wheelers. Accident Research Unit and Biometric Institute, Hannover Medical School.

This study describes the injury frequency and injuries in detail for motorcycle drivers on German roads involved in traffic accidents including the influence of helmets on injury severity.

We are debunking a popular myth that wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle can be detrimental during a motorcycle crash. Using this new evidence, legislators should revisit the need for mandatory helmet laws.

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Motorcycle Crash Statistics

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