In 1972, motorcycle manufacturers began to stress power and speed, otherwise known as VROOM. Advertising began to highlight speed and performance rather than economical transportation. Some current stock street motorcycles are capable of exceeding the fifty-five mile per hour speed limit while still in the first of five forward gears. Some people in the industry agree that the trend toward bigger and faster machines should end. Motorcycle death and injury rates have grown nearly as fast as cycling has grown in popularity. Most casualties involve people under the age of 25. Research over the last 30 years has clearly demonstrated the value of safety helmets in saving lives and reducing injury severity. In 1976, when the Department of Transportation lost its authority to withhold highway safety funds from states without helmet use laws, 27 states either repealed or revised their helmet laws, resulting in more motorcycle deaths in 1977 than ever before. More stringent operator licensing is a minimum requirement. In 1976, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) selected California as the test site for evaluating the effectiveness of a model motorcycle operator's manual, knowledge tests, and an off-street skill test. Preliminary results of the project, to be completed in June 1980, indicate a 13% to 20% lower crash rate for groups taking the new NHTSA tests. Another test developed by NHTSA and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for state use is the Motorcycle In-Traffic Test. Collectively, helmet use, novice training, and stringent operator testing and licensing countermeasures hold significant promise of reducing the growing motorcycle injury and death toll.

  • Corporate Authors:

    American Association for Automotive Medicine

    P.O. Box 222
    Morton Grove, IL  United States  60053
  • Authors:
    • Claybrook, J
  • Publication Date: 1980-4

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-15
  • Serial:
    • AAAM Quarterly Journal
    • Volume: 2
    • Issue Number: 2
    • Publisher: Assoc for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00384714
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 069
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 30 1984 12:00AM