Collecting Accurate Motorcycle Travel Data to Reduce Rising Fatalities on the Nation's Highways

Motorcycle fatalities and the related fatality rates have been significantly increasing over the last 10 years based on total registrations as a proxy for volumes and usage/exposure. This has become a serious safety issue for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). According to available proxy data, between 1996 and 2005, motorcyclist fatalities increased more than 110 percent and currently account for more than 10 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities. The best measure of exposure risk for motor vehicle crashes is fatality rate based on actual vehicle volumes and vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), therefore it is critical that timely, complete, and accurate volume and VMT data are collected and reported in order to determine accurate incident and fatality rates and to monitor trends. VMT data (and particularly motorcycle VMT) have been the focus of discussions at recent Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS) reassessment workshops documented in the HPMS Reassessment Safety Issue Paper indicating the importance of research on accurately determining VMTs at the national level. To date, there has not been significant research into the accurate detection of motorcycles. Most current detection systems primarily focus on the collection and classification of trucks and automobiles. These systems frequently misclassify motorcycles or miss them altogether, making the data unacceptable for mandated reporting purposes. Research is needed to identify and analyze detection methodologies that are currently and may potentially be used to obtain accurate motorcycle volume and VMT-related data, with special attention given to accuracy, installation, and operation of available equipment. It should also contain an analysis of the methodologies available to assist transportation professionals in calculating incident and fatality rates when less than comprehensive motorcycle volume and VMT data is available and should potentially focus on the adjustment factors available for use in related calculations. The document should also contain analyses of ongoing detection efforts; both those that have been or continue to be successful and those that have not. The results of the proposed research would be used by transportation agencies at all levels to assist them in determining the policies and decisions necessary to improve the safety of the transportation system for all, thereby saving lives and reducing incident-related delay and improving mobility. </font></p>


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $300000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 8-81

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Hedges, Christopher

  • Start Date: 20100613
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0
  • Source Data: RiP Project 26463

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01466166
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 8-81
  • Files: TRB, RiP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 3:11PM