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 US motorcycle crash data 2017
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DataDan
Advanced Member
573 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 01/14/2019 :  11:31 AM                       Like
I've changed the thread title from "fatality data" to "crash data" because I'm adding a post on non-fatal crashes derived from NHTSA's Crash Report Sampling System, which I am now working with. CRSS (called GES, General Estimates System, from its 1988 inception through 2015), provides users with a weighted statistical sample of crashes, detailed data on (for 2017) 55,000 incidents representing a nationwide total of 6.5 million of all severities, non-injury to fatal. Among them are 3,000 motorcycle crash investigations representing a total of about 100,000.



As in previous years, I'm posting this short summary of the US fatal motorcycle crash data from NHTSA's FARS database. My 2016 post is here.


US Fatal Motorcycle Crashes 2013-2017

..............................|....2013|....2014|....2015|....2016|....2017
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
motorcycles in fatal crashes..|....4799|....4705|....5131|....5467|....5326
motorcyclists killed..........|....4692|....4594|....5029|....5337|....5172
other-vehicle occupants killed|......32|......26|......31|......46|......38
non-motorists killed..........|......39|......34|......40|......48|......40
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
median rider age..............|......42|......43|......42|......42|......42
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider drinking................|.....31%|.....31%|.....30%|.....27%|.....26%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider BAC .01-.07.............|......8%|......9%|......9%|......8%|......9%
rider BAC .08-.14.............|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%|.....11%
rider BAC .15+................|.....19%|.....20%|.....18%|.....18%|.....20%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
speed related.................|.....36%|.....35%|.....35%|.....34%|.....34%
..............................|........|........|........|........|........
rider unlicensed..............|.....27%|.....30%|.....29%|.....28%|.....30%


Long-term trend

US motorcycle fatalities remain high. The 2016 total, revised from last year's post after a database update, is now greater than the previous high reported in 2008. This is due mainly to continued (though slow) growth of the sport. Motorcycle registrations were also at a high in 2016, and vehicle-miles traveled were near a high (2017 regs and VMT are not yet available).

Rider age and sex

Involvement of the Baby Boom generation (now age 53-71) in fatal motorcycle crashes continues to decline, down to 27% in 2017. Millennials (< 34) were a plurality at 36%, and riders under age 21 were < 6%.

Women were < 4% of fatal crash-involved riders, little changed over the past 10 years. If the Motorcycle Industry Council's latest estimate that women are now 20% of motorcycle owners is accurate, they seem to be taking the sport up very capably.

Drinking

The continued decrease of drinking riders in the fatality data is good news. (The "rider drinking" row in the table above reports riders who either had a BAC more than 0 or were judged to have been drinking by the crash investigator.) Note that of those with reported BAC, half were in the highest group, .15+.

Motorcycles involved

Cruisers were the motorcycle style in the greatest percentage of fatal crashes again in 2017, at 40%, sportbikes slightly less at 36%, and touring bikes at 17%. Increasingly popular adventure bikes (hard to isolate because they are usually classified as "enduro" by NHTSA) were no more than 2%.

Trikes, which climbed sharply in fatal crash involvement for a few years, were unchanged in 2017. A majority of riders in these crashes are age 60+, and 20% were women.


Have a question about a factor I haven't mentioned, or about your state? Post it up and I'll dig up the answer if I can.


Edited by - DataDan on 04/17/2019 12:34 PM

scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6919 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 1090 Adv R

Posted - 01/14/2019 :  4:39 PM
Thanks for posting this information.

Out of curiosity, do you know why it takes a whole year for this information to become available?
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DataDan
Advanced Member
573 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 01/15/2019 :  10:09 AM
Well, I procrastinated for 3 months after downloading the database. So there's that.

The crash investigation itself takes a while for a fatality. The California crash database published by CHP has both the crash date and the date processed into the database. For fatalities it takes an average of 5 months to be entered, for minor injury crashes 1.5 months.

After the investigation is complete and the report written, it goes to NHTSA (part of US DOT) to be transformed into FARS database format. Some of that process is automated, of course. Date, time, location, etc. are just moved from one place to another. Coded items are easy, too: "M" for male in the CHP database becomes "1" in FARS.

Then comes the hard part: turning the investigating officer's words and pictures into numeric codes. Here's an example of how one crash appears. From the illustrated crash narrative, someone had to describe it in numbers (which I then translated back to words):

vehicle number.....................|1............................................|2
direction of travel................|east.........................................|west
trafficway flow....................|two-way, not divided.........................|two-way, not divided
roadway alignment..................|curve right .................................|straight
roadway profile....................|level........................................|level
relation to junction...............|non-junction ................................|non-junction
traffic control device.............|warning sign.................................|warning sign
body type..........................|two-wheel motorcycle.........................|light pickup
vehicle model year.................|1991.........................................|1991
vehicle make.......................|Harley-Davidson..............................|Toyota
model..............................|FLSTF........................................|PICKUP
age................................|36...........................................|40
sex................................|male.........................................|male
driver drinking....................|drinking.....................................|not drinking
alcohol test result................|0.08.........................................|not tested
protection system use..............|DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet .............|lap and shoulder belt used
driver injury severity.............|fatal........................................|none
occupant deaths....................|1............................................|0
registered owner...................|driver registered owner......................|driver registered owner
non-CDL license status.............|valid........................................|valid
driver license type compliance.....|valid license for this class vehicle.........|valid license for this class vehicle
previous suspensions...............|0............................................|2
manner of collision................|not collision with motor vehicle.............|not collision with motor vehicle
first harmful event................|overturn/rollover............................|overturn/rollover
most harmful event.................|motor vehicle in transport on same roadway...|motor vehicle in transport on same roadway
lane splitting.....................|no...........................................|
pre-event movement.................|negotiating a curve .........................|going straight
critical pre-crash event...........|lost control--unknown cause..................|other vehicle encroaching from opposite
...................................|.............................................|direction over left lane line
crash avoidance maneuver...........|unknown......................................|no avoidance maneuver
pre-crash stability................|skidding laterally, clockwise rotation ......|tracking
pre-impact location................|stayed on roadway; left original travel lane |stayed in original travel lane
crash type.........................|other........................................|other
initial contact point..............|non-collision ...............................|12 o'clock
speed limit........................|55...........................................|55
travel speed.......................|55...........................................|35
speed related......................|no...........................................|no
primary collision factor...........|under the influence of alcohol or drug.......|not at fault
driver related factors.............|none.........................................|none
driver distracted by...............|not distracted...............................|not distracted
driver impaired by.................|unknown if impaired..........................|none/apparently normal
violations charged.................|none.........................................|none
vision obscured by.................|no obstruction noted.........................|no obstruction noted
vehicle factors....................|none ........................................|none
...................................|.............................................|
event sequence.....................|striking vehicle: impact point...............|struck vehicle: impact point
cross centerline ..................|1:non-harmful event..........................|
rollover/overturn .................|1:non-collision..............................|
vehicle strikes object ............|1:other objects set-in-motion................|2:12 o'clock
set in motion by another...........|.............................................|
motor vehicle in transport ........|1:6 o'clock..................................|2:12 o'clock
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DataDan
Advanced Member
573 Posts
[Mentor]


Central Coast, CA
USA

Yamaha

FJR1300

Posted - 04/17/2019 :  12:28 PM
Crashes by motorcycle type and rider age

Which bikes crash most, cruisers or sportbikes? That provocative question has been a hot topic of discussion since before the internet. I'm afraid I can't answer it because there is no data available on exposure--annual miles ridden by motorcycle type. Counts can be compared--more of these crash than those--but likelihood of a crash can't be compared without additional information.

Nevertheless, I offer this for your consideration:

Crash Involvement by Motorcycle Style and Rider Age, 2013-2017

STYLE................%CRASHES.....%FATALS....CRASH AGE...FATAL AGE
------------------------------------------------------------------
cruiser.................41%.........40%..........44..........48
sport...................29%.........36%..........30..........31
touring.................16%.........15%..........50..........54
scooter..................5%..........2%..........42..........50
traditional..............4%..........3%..........37..........40
enduro...................2%..........2%..........38..........46
dirt.....................2%..........2%..........25..........29

combined...............100%........100%..........40..........43

Percentages are fraction of all police-reported motorcycle crashes by bike type. This breakdown is possible because "style" is now a published datum in the NHTSA databases, via auto industry marketing information company R.L. Polk. We probably wouldn't agree with all the classifications, but they seem to reflect a good understanding of the market.

Cruisers are mostly Harleys, 67%, but some Harleys are touring. Sportbikes are the Gixxers you expect, but also my FJR. Traditionals are standards, including most older bikes. Dirt bikes are mostly street legal but also include motorcrossers. Enduros comprise the full range of adventure bikes, from 250s up to BMW R1200GS.

A few observations: For all classes except sportbikes, fatal crash involvement is lower than all crash involvement. IOW, sportbike crashes tend to be deadlier. OTOH, scooter crashes are much less likely to be fatal. Ages are pretty much what you'd expect from knowing who usually rides what. One exception is scooters; crash age is older than I would have expected. Note that for all groups, fatality age is higher than crash age. This supports my claim that crash lethality increases with age, discussed in the thread Vulnerability of older riders in motorcycle crashes.


Data from NHTSA's Crash Report Sampling System (2016-2017), General Estimates System, Fatality Analysis Reporting System.

Edited by - DataDan on 04/17/2019 12:49 PM
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