Motorcyclist fatalities up 5 percent in 2006

For the ninth consecutive year, motorcycle fatalities have increased and are accounting for more of the total traffic accidents in the U.S., according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

A total of 4,810 motorcyclists were killed on the nation’s highways during 2006, an increase of 5 percent over 2005.

Although fatalities have been increasing during the past years, the percentages are not consistent year-to-year. In 2005, there was a fatality increase of 13 percent. 2004 brought an 8 percent increase, but the year before had a 13.5 percent jump.

The increase in fatalities has raised awareness of the need for new research to look into the causes of motorcycle crashes, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reported in a press release.

“The increasing number of fatalities among motorcyclists during the past nine years have concerned us,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, in a company press release. “And that’s why we’ve worked so hard to get an updated study of the causes of motorcycle crashes.”

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