The Federal Highway Administration has announced the launch of a new study to probe causes of motorcycle accidents, and to help develop procedures and strategies that can prevent or minimize these accidents.
The study will be conducted at the Oklahoma State University’s Transportation Center, and will be the first one in decades. The last such study was conducted in 1981, and resulted in the release of the Hurt Report. The report led to the identification of several causes of motorcycle accidents, and contributed to the development of strategies to minimize or prevent these crashes. However, the findings of the Hurt Report and any effects they may have had on motorcycle safety, have begun to lose their relevance in the nearly 30 years since the report was released. This can be seen in the steady increase in the rates of motorcycle accident fatalities, not just in Georgia, but across the country.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, motorcycle riders continue to remain some of the most highly at-risk groups on our roads. In 2008, approximately 5,300 motorcyclists were killed nationwide in these accidents, which is about 14 percent of all traffic accident fatalities that year. An estimated 177 of those fatalities occurred in Georgia. This was even as accident fatality rates in other groups, like automobile accidents and pedestrian accidents, showed a marked downward trend. According to the Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, motorcyclist fatalities increased by 150 percent between 1997 and 2008.
As Atlanta motorcycle accident lawyers, we have been very concerned at the continued rise in motorcycle accident fatalities, and are encouraged at the launch of this new study. As we have discussed earlier on this blog, we need to be investing more efforts and funds into motorcycle safety, and this study definitely seems like a good step in that direction.