Idaho STAR reports motorcycle crashes declining

– Data indicate safer riding season to date with reduced crashes, fatalities –

Motorcycle crashes and fatalities on Idaho roadways are down, according to information released by Idaho STAR, the state’s motorcycle rider-training program.

Initial numbers for 2011 appear to be substantially lower in comparison to prior years, based on unofficial first- and second-quarter data from ITD’s Office of Highway Safety. Preliminary data shows that crashes involving motorcyclists January through June are down 30 percent this year from the 2006-2010 average, and fatalities are down by 68 percent over the same time period.

“Both the slow economy and the long, cold winter this year are likely factors in the decrease, but we also believe that Idaho riders and drivers are doing a better job at preventing crashes,” said Stacey “Ax” Axmaker, Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program Director.

“As rider training continues to be available across the state and overall awareness of motorcyclists keeps improving, we hope to see this trend continue. We want all the riders of Idaho to make it home safe and sound to their loved ones after every ride.”

The Idaho STAR Program was established in 1995 to reduce crashes and fatalities involving motorcyclists. STAR provides training for all levels of experience and ability, from people just thinking about riding a motorcycle to veteran street riders.

A review of more than 4,000 motorcycle crashes from 1996 through 2006 indicated that STAR training is associated with a 71 percent reduced crash risk and an 81 percent reduction in the risk of a fatal crash.

“Strong winds were the primary cause of my crash a number of years ago, but if my passenger and I had both gone through training beforehand I believe we could have stayed on center and avoided a pretty serious crash,” said Ed Shea, current rider and Idaho STAR training graduate. “STAR does a great job making riders focus on the basics so they know what to do in the moment of truth and to avoid the situations that lead to crashes.”

Beyond traditional training, Idaho STAR also actively shares insights and tips to help lower rider crash and injury risk with rider organizations through online channels and at several community events across the state. Some Idaho STAR-recommended tips include:

  • Learn and practice riding skills – especially cornering and emergency braking
  • Keep looking well ahead so you can see hazards early enough to respond to them
  • In corners, turn your head and look all the way through
  • Dress to survive a crash – a jacket, boots, riding pants, gloves and a helmet can mean the difference between walking away from a crash and being carried away
  • Ride sober – drinking and riding is a deadly combination

Idaho STAR will continue to monitor key rider data throughout the riding season and will share results as information becomes available.

About Idaho STAR

The Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program began rider training in 1995. STAR is an Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education program and is accredited by the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA).

STAR training is associated with a 71 percent reduced crash risk and an 81 percent reduction in the risk of a fatal crash. STAR provides courses for all levels of riders, taught by Idaho certified instructors. 1-888-280-7878


Published 8-26-2011