Motorcycle Safety: A Review of the State of the Knowledge

In the face of much research to determine ways to improve motorcycle safety, it remains a significant highway safety problem. The number of motorcycle fatalities and injuries is disproportionately high, considering that motorcycles constitute about 3 percent of the total vehicle fleet. When compared to the safety gains made for passenger vehicles, the state of motorcycle safety suggests that new approaches to safety are necessary to lower crash risk among motorcyclists. Adding to the complexity of motorcycle safety issues are rapid changes in engineering and vehicle technology; social changes in rider demographics; and policy changes in helmet use legislation across the States. The objective of this study is a comprehensive, up-to-date review of the literature on motorcycle safety for the purpose of providing an empirical basis for research and program planning and policy decision-making. A comprehensive review of the state of knowledge about motorcycle traffic safety in the United States supports the development and implementation of safety programs and public policy. The review shall highlight trends and gaps in safety research, and showcase features that show promise as potential countermeasures. One of the goals of the review is to serve as an important resource for researchers, highway safety and public health professionals, rider instructors, safety advocates and others.