Finally, some good news. Sort of.
Since starting this blog, I signed up for Google Alerts anytime the word "motorcycle" appears on the Internet. And daily, it seems, I get at least one article that tells of a motorcyclist's death. Part of me wants to read every story, commiserate with the motorcyclist's family — and find out the nature of the crash. I'm still looking for statistics on how often a motorcyclist is killed because of the negligence of another driver. My gut tells me it's a high percentage.
This week, a study authored by safety consultant James Hedlund, a former National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official, said that deaths of motorcyclists decreased 16 percent in the first nine months of 2009. The number had grown each of the last 10 years, hitting a high of 5,290 in 2008. Data for the full year is still being analyzed from all 50 states.
I wish the study indicated that motorists are finally taking heed of us two-wheeled riders, but those conducting the study say it may be more a result of fewer people riding recreationally because of the economy.
The study was sponsored by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which represents state traffic safety agencies.
To read the entire story, click here. It also appears on page A11 in Saturday's Ledger-Enquirer. Then come back and leave me your comments and what you take out of the report. Are the fewer deaths a result of fewer riders? Safer riders? Do you feel more or less safe on the streets these days?
Check out these sites for more on the study and on safe motorcycling
Governors Highway Safety Association
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation