Motorcycles: Crash Trends, Conspicuity, and Intervention

Motorcycle use brings increased risk to the operator simply by the nature of the vehicle. When a crash occurs, the threat of injury or death is magnified by physical exposure compared to that of other vehicle occupants. Detection and gap/speed judgments by other motorists present additional hazards to the users. Motorcycle crashes in North Dakota largely reflect what is occurring at the national level. Fatal., injury and property damage only crashes have been on an upward trajectory since 2002. At the same time, the numbers of motorcycle registrations and licensed drivers have risen to their highest levels. Analyses reveal the largest share of fatal and injury crashes occurred on local rural roads. "Speeding/Too fast for conditions", "improper evasive action", and "improper handling" were the principal contributing factors to crashes. "Care required" and "DUI" were the lead categories where citations were issued to motorcyclists. Additional examination shows that half of crashes in collisions with another motor vehicle were angle crashes, and that drivers of other vehicles were more frequently cited for failure to yield or stop. Crash severity was also higher in angle crashes than all other crashes combined. Finally, one-third of riders in crashes were wearing helmets. Supplemental data on helmet use were obtained through observational surveys which recorded helmet use of approximately 50%. Continued efforts to improve motorcycle conspicuity would seem prudent. A number of studies conclude that daytime running lights and reflective clothing are beneficial in motorcycle detection and gap/speed assessment within certain environmental parameters. Rider education and training to ensure proper operation, reduced risk-taking, and sustained crash avoidance skills are also considered essential.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 26p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01495434
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2013 2:29PM