Estimating Motorcycle Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) from State Annual Safety Inspection Data

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tracks motorcycle fatalities and crashes on an annual basis. The numbers consistently demonstrate that there is a higher fatality rate for motorcyclists compared to operators of passenger cars and trucks. The motorcycle fatality rate is determined in various ways, by comparing the number of fatalities to the number of registered motorcycles, or the number of licensed motorcycles, or the estimate of motorcycle exposure measured in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT). Truly understanding the risk of motorcycle travel requires knowing motorcycle VMT. Unfortunately, obtaining motorcycle VMT is challenging. Traffic detectors do not easily detect motorcycles, and motorcyclists can travel in pairs and groups, complicating their detection. Motorcycle travel is often heavier in places and at times when detection systems designed to measure passenger cars and trucks may not operate (such as the weekend and on scenic routes). To improve our understanding of motorcycle exposure, this project will explore odometer readings that are recorded during motorcycle safety inspections as an estimate of VMT. The project involves collecting motorcycle safety inspection records from States that require inspections, and analyzing odometer data as a measure of VMT. The outcome of the project will result in a report documenting the benefits and drawbacks associated with ascertaining motorcycle VMT from annual inspection data. The information gained form the project supports the continual effort to improve the quality of traffic data.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $186433
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
      Washington, D.C.  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Wochinger, Kathryn

    • Performing Organizations:

      University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center

      730 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard CB # 3430
      Chapel Hill, NC  United States  27599-3430
    • Principal Investigators:

      Wochinger, Kathryn

    • Start Date: 20160901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20220000
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: Behavioral Safety Research
    • Subprogram: Motorcycle Safety

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01629741
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
    • Contract Numbers: DTNH2211D00223
    • Files: RIP, USDOT
    • Created Date: Mar 23 2017 3:53PM