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List of motorcycle deaths in U.S. by year

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This is a list of motorcycle deaths in U.S. by year from 1994 to 2010. United States motorcycle fatalities increased every year for 11 years since reaching a historic low of 2,116 fatalities in 1997, until a decline in 2009. In nine years, motorcycle deaths have more than doubled.

Since 1980, motorcycle ownership among riders aged 40 and over has increased dramatically, from 15.1 percent of all riders in 1980 to 43.7 percent in 1998. The mean engine displacement of the motorcycles involved in fatal crashes has also increased, from an average engine size of 769 cc in 1990, to 959 cc in 2001, an increase of 24.7 percent.[1] This combination of older riders on higher-powered motorcycles may be partially responsible for the increase in motorcycle deaths from the late 1990s until 2004.[1]

Half of motorcycle fatalities in single vehicle crashes relate to problems negotiating a curve prior to a crash—almost 60 percent of motorcyclist fatalities in single vehicle crashes occur at night.[2]

In 2009, motorcycle fatalities in the US declined for the first time in 11 years. The yearly total dropped from 5,312 to 4,462. Automobile fatalities continued to decline for the seventh straight year.[3] A decline in recreational motorcycling due to the late-2000s recession might account for the decrease in accidents, according to the authors of a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, but a State motorcyclists' rights organization, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, said motorcycle use appears to have increased, influenced by motorcycles' better fuel economy.[4]

Annual U.S. motorcycle deaths
1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002
Deaths 2,320 2,227 2,161 2,116 2,294 2,483 2,897 3,197† 3,244
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
3,661‡ 4,028 4,576 4,837 5,174 5,312 4,462 3,615[3]
† some NHTSA lists show 3,181
‡ some NHTSA lists show 3,714

See alsoEdit



  1. Motorcycle Safety Program, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  2. Fatality Analysis Reporting System, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

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