In an accident, a motorcycle rider is about ten times as likely to suffer injury as is the driver or occupant of a car. Motorcycle-related deaths increased by 24% from 1976 to 1977 and by another 10% from 1977 to 1978. A study sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that a motorcyclist's best chance for avoiding a crash is to make the bike as conspicuous as possible. A Highway Safety Research Institute (University of Michigan) study found that daytime conspicuity of a motorcycle could be improved if its normal low-beam headlight is turned on, if its high-beam headlamp is turned on and flashing three times/sec., or if the rider is wearing a fluorescent vest and helmet cover. Nighttime conspicuity could be improved if the motorcycle uses additional running lights and the rider is wearing a retroreflective vest and helmet cover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety advocates a requirement that all cycles/mopeds manufactured in the U.S. have the headlights wired through the ignition. Other recommended motorcycle safety measures include becoming familiar with all controls and safety features of the cycle before getting on the road, never borrowing nor loaning a cycle, inspecting motorcycle systems before riding and scheduling periodic maintenance, slowing down at intersections, and advising passengers about safe riding practices before carrying them. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation says that the most important protective gear is an approved helmet, to be used with a face shield, goggles, or a windshield for eye protection. Other recommended equipment includes leather gloves, strong over-the-ankle boots with heels, and leather clothing. Insurance may be obtained covering the rider, passenger, and motorcyclist for liability only or as part of a more inclusive policy; rates vary and discounts are available in several forms. Other road users also have a responsibility for motorcycle safety. A separate section lists ten important moped safety tips from an Ohio Department of Education report.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Insurance Information Institute

    110 William Street
    New York, NY  United States  10038
  • Authors:
    • Marks, J
  • Publication Date: 1980-5

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 27-31
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00386118
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-029 162
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 28 1984 12:00AM