NHTSA releases brochure on motorcycle safety, helmet use

Washington – The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a brochure focusing on issues related to safe motorcycle use, including safety tips and statistics about motorcycle fatalities and injuries.

The number of motorcyclist deaths from 2003 to 2012 increased 33 percent, according to the Safety 1n Num3ers brochure. In 2012, 93,000 motorcyclists were injured, an increase of 12,000 from the year before.

Motorcycles made up 3 percent of registered vehicles in the United States in 2012 but accounted for 15 percent of all traffic fatalities. The brochure stresses the importance of wearing certified helmets and safety gear, even in states that lack helmet and licensing laws.

Motorcycle helmets saved 1,699 lives in 2012, according to the brochure. Ten times as many fatalities involving unhelmeted riders occurred in states without universal helmet laws (1,858) than states with universal helmet laws (178).

In 2011, use of motorcycle helmets saved $3.4 billion in societal costs, including loss of life and productivity, insurance payouts, and other costs, the brochure states.

In addition, more than 1 out of 4 motorcyclists in fatal crashes in 2012 were alcohol-impaired.