||Trends in Motorcycle Crashes in Virginia – Phase III
Michael D. Fontaine
Associate Director for Safety, Operations, and Traffic Engineering
In the past several years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and several states have noted increases in motorcycle-related deaths. According to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 3,661 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2003, an increase of 12 percent over 2002, and another 67,000 were injured, an increase of 4 percent. In the last five years, the number of motorcyclists’ fatalities has risen sharply in the United States as well as in other countries. The increase in older riders and passengers in the motorcyclist population is part of the cause in this upsurge. This study will provide a more thorough knowledge of the characteristics of serious motorcycle crashes and associated costs, which, in turn, could help the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles design better motorcycle safety programs and a safer riding environment for motorcyclists.