Motorcycle fatalities declined in 2009

Despite the rising number of motorcycle miles traveled, fatalities decreased 16 percent and injuries declined 6.3 percent last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2009 Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Among all types of motorists, motorcyclists had the second-largest reduction in fatalities, behind large-truck occupants, and the largest drop in alcohol-impaired fatalities — also a 16 percent reduction.

“There’s always more work to promote and improve safety, but everyone at the Motorcycle Industry Council is heartened by this news,” MIC Chairman Larry Little said in a release announcing the news. “It shows that we can lower our level of risk out on the road, while we’re putting more miles on more bikes for both transportation and pure fun.”

According to the report, 4,462 riders died in 2009 — 850 fewer than in the previous year. The reduction came while motorcycle miles traveled increased approximately 5 percent last year. Also, 11 million motorcycles were in use last year, an increase of some 500,000 compared with 2008.

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