National motorcycle fatalities increase again in 2006

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released a national study revealing motorcycle fatalities have increased again in 2006 and more than doubled in the past decade.

Motorcycle fatalities reached 4,810 in 2006, a 5 percent increase over 2005 with 4,576. The age group with the highest increase was the 20-29-year-olds, who had 119 more fatalities than in 2005. The 50-59-year-old age group had the next highest increase with 78 more fatalities.

This is the first time since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began collecting fatal motor vehicle crash data in 1975 that motorcycle rider fatalities have surpassed the number of pedestrian fatalities.

Through the FHWA Motorcycle Advisory Committee, the DOT is working to improve roadway design and maintenance to make roads specifically safer for motorcyclists. This project along with many others will help the DOT reach the goal of 1 overall highway fatality per 100 million vehicles miles traveled by 2011.

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