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Federal Government Finalizes 2021 Crash Data

This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its annual report, Traffic Safety Facts 2021: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Data. The 225-page report contains information on crash types, causes and participants involved. Remember that while we are nearing the end of 2023, this report is 2021 data. NHTSA spent nearly two years compiling these figures before releasing the report. The data on motorcyclist fatalities is especially troubling. According to the report, in 2021, motorcyclists made up 13.8% of all nationwide traffic fatalities, with 5,932 motorcyclists killed on our nation’s roadways. That is the highest number since data collection began in 1975. In comparison, the pre-Covid year of 2019 saw 5,044 bikers killed. The number of those injured on motorcycles reported in 2021 was 82,686, which is fewer than the all-time high of 104,442 in 2016. This total injury count represents 3.3% of the 2.5 million people injured in all motor vehicle crashes. It is important to note that 2021 showed a substantial increase in motorcycles registered. The data also shows an increase in vehicle miles traveled by bikers. NHTSA data shows 9.8 million registered motorcycles with approximately 19.6 billion miles traveled in 2021. Those increases mean that while the total number of fatalities and injuries went up, fortunately, the rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles went down. Here are other takeaways: Riders accounted for 95% of deaths, while 5% were motorcycle passengers. 57% of fatalities occurred by collision with another vehicle, 26% resulted from a collision with a fixed object, 4% collision with a non-fixed object, while 13% of fatalities occurred without a collision. 34% of fatalities involved a rider impaired by alcohol. That number is in line with the 31% of alcohol-related fatalities nationwide. Riders were wearing helmets in 59% of fatalities, while riders were

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Honda launches a renewed 350 to rival Enfield Classic 350

Honda CB350 launched at ₹2,00,000, will take on Royal Enfield 350. This is an even better retro-styled motorcycle from Honda than their previous 350 efforts in India and offers a lot of modern features that Enfield never has– at a price that can win customers over to their stable. Those who want an Enfield will listen to no reason nor rhyme to change their mind about their purchase. While it is primarily aimed at dethroning the King –Royal Enfield Classic 350 in sales pie-charts, it seems by co-incidence it will compete effectively with customers divided between Hero-made Harley-Davidson 440 and Bajaj-made Triumph Speed 400. Meanwhile, Enfield is sending Meteor to USA (well the motorcycle model, relax!) and Honda H’ness 350 which was first designed and launched in India was soon released in Japan as well. So will America see a Honda 350. It would be interesting if Honda and Kawasaki (Z650RS) brought the retro-styled motorcycles they presented in India to USA– because surely Harley-Davidson and Triumph won’t be bringing their 440cc and 400cc bikes over to ruin their American Dream of selling big bikes. Clearly, sales volumes in India, a more dynamic and responsive market than China, seems to tempt brands to change their strategies in their primary / major markets as well. All said, Honda still has a ‘big’ drawback with its sales and servicing of mid-weight bikes. Only Honda Big Wing brand of authorised dealers can sell and service these 350cc motorcycles apart from their other big engine bikes such as Fireblade, Africa Twin or Goldwing. This is silly because a 350cc engine is a common sight in all cities in India–thanks to Royal Enfield’s success at marketing and branding them. So, unless Honda leverages its vast number of dealers who sell 100cc to 150cc commuter motorcycles and

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