Study reveals contributors to motorcycle crashes

From Quick Notes, Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings

Note: In 2010, with the implementation of the Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), the committee has been committed to reducing fatal and serious injury motorcycle related crashes. One of the projects the team has been working on for the last several months is the Motorcycle Safety Fatality Summary, using crash report data from 2009-2010. The next step will be to include serious injury data. You should find the results surprising.



Lane Triplett, SHSP Motorcycle Team Member
For the past few months, I have been gathering data from the State of Idaho Vehicle Collision Reports for Motorcycles for the years 2009 and 2010. This project began during one of the initial planning sessions for the Idaho Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) Motorcycle Safety Committee. One of the strategies outlined was to analyze the data and identify some of the circumstances contributing to Idaho’s motorcycle fatalities. This analysis is a work in progress and more information and data will be added as it becomes available.

There were 34 fatalities in 2009 and 28 fatalities in 2010 included in 59 reports. Three reports include two victims. Five of the 62 fatalities were passengers. The following chart is a sampling of causation factors. Some crashes include one or more factors. While it is possible that some of the single-vehicle crashes may have been affected by an unreported animal or other vehicle, there is no data, physical evidence, or statements within the reports to support such occurrences. (Note: It is a coincidence that the totals for single- and multi-vehicle fatalities match the yearly totals.)

Single Vehicle Fatalities - 34
Multi-vehicle Fatalities – 28
Rider Error 27 Rider Error 16
Questionable RE 1 Driver Error* 12
Run-off Corner 22 Rider Violated Driver’s ROW 3
Wild Animal 3 Run-off Corner – Head-on Crash 3
Positive Alcohol/Drug Test 14 Rider Rear-ended Rider 3
Medical 1 Positive Alcohol/Drug Test 6**
Equipment 2