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.
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.)
Of the total 62 fatalities, 43 were identified as rider error and 1 is questionable. This means up to 44 out of 62 were due to rider error. Eleven of the fatalities are without question the fault of another vehicle operator. This analysis does not include detailed information on serious injuries, levels of injury (A, B, C) or other involved crashes. There may be additional reports or information that would indicate the other driver to be at fault in some crashes.
It should be noted that 18 fatalities were out of state riders (16 riders, 2 passengers) and none of their endorsement information is known at this time. Of the 43 Idaho riders involved in fatal crashes, 26 had their motorcycle endorsement, and 17 did not. Two of the riders had no driver’s license at all, and 2 were riding on suspended licenses. Of the 43 Idaho riders, only 7 had taken a rider training course and one had failed. In three of these crashes, the rider survived but the passenger did not.
It is commonly believed that motorcycle fatalities are generally young men on sport bikes and/or riders not wearing helmets. Here is what the data tell us on these topics:
Primary conclusions from this initial analysis: