Notable News from Other Sources
News of Interest to Motorcyclists
The National Transportation Safety Board announced its 2019 – 2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, during an event held at the National Press Club, Monday. First issued in 1990, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements serves as the agency’s primary advocacy tool to help save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce property damage resulting from transportation accidents.
October 2, 2018. The National Transportation Safety Board on October 2, 2018, released a Safety Study, Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes. The report analyzed select risk factors associated with the causes of motorcycle crashes and evaluated strategies for crash prevention. The NTSB makes recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Motorcycle Industry Council, the American Motorcyclist Association, and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
This is a Traffic Safety Facts Research Note released in May 2018 based on crash data from 2016. In 2016 the use of motorcycle helmets saved an estimated 1,859 lives – if all riders had worn helmets and additional 802 lives could have been saved. Nearly $3.4 billion in economic costs and $21 billion in comprehensive costs were saved by the use of helmets but an additional $1.5 billion in economic costs and $9.2 billion in comprehensive costs could have been saved if all riders had worn helmets.
This is a Traffic Safety Facts Research Note released in April 2018 that shows that the use of DOT compliant motorcycle helmets was not statistically different in 2017 from 2016 and remains at about 65%. Helmet use in states requiring all riders to wear helmets has increased to 87%.
A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The report projects that 4,990 people were killed on motorcycles in 2017. This number, based on preliminary data provided by State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs), represents a projected 5.6% decrease from 2016 – a difference of 296 lives. In spite of this reduction, motorcyclists remain significantly over-represented as a proportion of all traffic deaths, with motorcyclist fatalities occurring 28 times more often than passenger vehicle occupant fatalities per mile traveled. This is a stark reminder that much work remains to establish a lasting downward trend.
A May 2, 2018 news release from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) announcing the 2017 Preliminary Data Report. While fatalities are down, motorcyclists remain over-represented in traffic deaths.
January 5, 2018 - Link to an article in ScienceDaily describing a research report which examines how the phenomenon of inattentional blindness, or a person's failure to notice an unexpected object located in plain sight, might explain the prevalence of looked-but-failed-to-see (LBFTS) crashes, the most common type of collision involving motorcycles.
March 6, 2018 – Link to an article describing research from the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics in Madison which found that, during an accident, helmet use lowers the likelihood of cervical spine injury (CSI), particularly fractures of the cervical vertebrae.
December 20, 2017 – Link to a RevZilla Common Thread article by Mark Gardiner. An excellent review of the first meeting of the Motorcycle Advisory Council and general motorcyclist safety issues.
December 14, 2017 - Link to a Los Angeles Times article. A group of two dozen concerned motorcycle veterans has published a comprehensive research document that addresses the question, “Can this industry be saved?”
December 5, 2017 - This is the full report of the Give a Shift (GAS) discussion, an anonymous & public discourse on the future of motorcycling (see the December 14, 2017 LA Times news article.
Link to an article in STAT, a national publication focused on finding and telling compelling stories about health, medicine, and scientific discovery. For two decades, the riders — and their rallying cry of freedom — have often had the upper hand in these battles. Now, though, the public health advocates are gaining traction as more and more evidence emerges that mandating helmet use saves lives.
Link to an editorial by The Des Moines Register. A caucus is simply a group of senators or representatives who meet occasionally, usually to pursue common legislative objectives. Some are ideologically focused and tend to be partisan, but others are based on topics of personal interest to members. The Senate caucuses are more informal than those in the House, which receive funding and official recognition from the chamber. Even so, it’s fair to ask whether the U.S. Senate really needs a Motorcycle Caucus to address what Ernst describes as the issues of “safety, infrastructure and energy efficiency.”
Link to a news release announcement from U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) regarding he formation of the first-ever Motorcycle Caucus in the United States Senate.
The finding and rationale statement of an independent, nonfederal, unpaid panel of public health and prevention experts appointed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention whose evidence-based finding is that “universal helmet laws increase helmet use; decrease motorcycle-related fatal and non-fatal injuries; and are substantially more effective than no law or than partial motorcycle helmet laws….”