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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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100 WFC: Shallow Grave

100 word fiction contest continues…. #100WFC Shallow Grave by Rhys (illustration by Wayfarer) Gary finished his Triumph chopper metal flake gold with helmet to match. Out for a shakedown run. Cruising back roads all seemed good, until a truck rounded the bend on the wrong side. Both rider and bike slid off the road. Gary awoke in the ditch his bike several feet away. In incredible deep pain, a bone protruded through his jeans. He yanked off his helmet and flung it up onto the road hoping a passerby would see it. A car stopped. The driver snatched the lid and left. Did he hear Gary’s screams? The DWP crew found Gary’s lifeless body a week later. * * * * * * * * Yup, its a weekly contest open to all. Just sign up for the free weekly newsletter by clicking here. Then email us your 100 word limit fiction to the editor wayfarer@bikernet.com WINNERS SO FAR: 1. for the month of May 2023: “Been There Done That” by Steven Sanner 2. for the month of June 2023: “A Hundred” by Chris Dutcher 3. for the month of July 2023: “First Time” by Rhys 4. for the month of August 2023: “Hilary” by Gearhead

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Motorcycle Awareness Month 2023

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and warmer weather means more motorcycles on the roads. We want to Remind Motorists to Share the Road and Be Alert. Always check your blind spots. Motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles and can be even more difficult to spot while merging or changing lanes. Be extra cautious when passing. Make sure to signal your intention to pass a motorcyclist. Remember that motorcycles react more quickly than cars. Make sure that you maintain an adequate following distance behind motorcycles. Be aware of the weather. Inclement weather has more drastic effects on motorcycle riders than on automobile drivers. Help riders stay safe after dark by increasing your following distance, ensuring that your high beams are turned off when you notice an approaching motorcycle, and refraining from passing. Stay in your lane. Motorcycles are legally entitled to their own lane of traffic. In no situation are you allowed to drive your automobile in the same lane and in close proximity to a motorcycle. Inform motorcyclists of your intention to turn. Initiate your turn signal sooner for motorcycles. Many vehicle accidents that involve both automobiles and motorcycles occur at intersections. Always follow the safety protocol for intersections every time that you approach one. Watch for turning motorcycles. If you notice that a motorcycle is driving with an activated turn signal for an abnormal distance, increase your following distance so you have time to react whenever the rider decides to turn. Take a second look at left turns. Before you cross a lane or lanes of traffic to turn left, take a second look for approaching motorcycles. Motorcyclists should always wear protective gear and be sure to use a DOT-compliant motorcycle helmet. For more information on motorcycle safety, visit nhtsa.gov. * * * * * * * *

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Helping Veterans : Biker Lives Matter

by Rogue Biker Lives Matter continues to provide Accident Scene Management Courses with the American Legion in Florida. Crashes and collisions continue to increase involving motorcycles and one of the most effective ways for those involved to survive is to be treated at the scene by others until more trained people like EMTs arrive. The American Legion is a very large organization and each chapters can include a motorcycle group named Legion Riders. Working with the American Legion organization affords out teachers to reach a lot of people. The more people trained the higher the possibility of saving more lives. Click here to read this article because Biker Lives Matter. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Know your rights and freedoms. Read the Thursday News only on Bikernet.com by clicking here.  

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National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced

Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities. What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths. The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome. From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006. To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives: Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed. Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users. Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants. Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement. Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices. The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to

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The “Biker Lives Matter” Organization

Click Here to Get Involved – http://www.bikerlivesmatter.com/ Article by Rogue – Founder of Biker Lives Matter, Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame I have been asked a lot why I and some others started an organization named Biker Lives Matter and why it is important to me. My answer is simple, there is a need for an organization that calls attention to the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods from motorcycle crashes. In the 1970s, I became involved in motorcycle rights and safety. At the time, motorcycle injury and death rate were high so the government and insurance companies began trying to pass laws that they hoped would help protect motorcyclists when crashes happened. I have been riding motorcycles for 69 years and both my life and that of the others who ride has always been important to me. I have seen many people injured and I know too many that have died. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to still be riding at the age of 83 years old. CLICK HERE To Read this insightful feature article on Bikernet.com SUPPORT Biker Lives Matter – Visit website to know more: http://www.bikerlivesmatter.com/

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Proposed new regulations for Autocycles in Massachusetts

Proposed new regulations for 3-wheel autocycles from https://www.bostonherald.com by Boston Herald Wire Services Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday. An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle. One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one. Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill. Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles from https://www.nbcboston.com by The Associated Press An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday. An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger. One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.

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Why motorcycle lane-splitting is Legal in California but Not in 49 other states

Why California lets motorcycles legally split lanes while 49 other states do not from https://ktla.com by Tony Kurzweil If you’ve ever been startled out of the doldrums of your afternoon commute by a thundering, lane splitting Harley Davidson and cursed whoever is responsible, you’re not alone. But before you blast the California Highway Patrol with emails listing all the reasons why that congestion-cutting biker should be given a ticket and told to stay in his lane, there are some things you should know. First, not only is lane sharing or lane splitting legal in California but the CHP wrote the safety guidelines as instructed in AB51, which was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016. In fact, although lane sharing occurs in other states, California is the only place where the practice has been made legal. But why? Well, one reason is that lane sharing has been going on in California ever since motorcycles have been on the freeway, so it was important to set some ground rules, CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said. The second, and maybe more interesting reason, is that it makes time spent on the freeway shorter, not only for motorcyclists but for us four-wheel motorists as well. “As motorcycles are moving through, splitting the lanes … that’s one less vehicle occupying that lane,” CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said. “It’s saving the average motorist in a car time … If we were to all of a sudden not allow lane splitting anymore, that’s a motorcycle sitting in the lane ahead of them,” O’Toole said. But just because the motorcyclist has the CHP on their side when it comes to lane sharing, it doesn’t mean they can recklessly speed past you. “It’s still a privilege … We’re the only state left, so it’s a privilege for

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Fact or Fiction – Helmet Use

from Motorcycle Riders Foundation at http://mrf.org/ On a nearly annual basis the media in this country is inspired to report stories about motorcycle fatalities on our nation’s roadways. Invariably, these stories paint motorcycle rider deaths as a product of irresponsible riders who live in states that have some level of helmet choice. Frequently they report statistics that prove their narrative but fail to paint a full and complete picture. The lens with which these stories are reported often takes the naïve view that crashes can be made “safer” if only bikers somehow followed government helmet mandates. The only true solution to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities are proactive measures, which prevent a collision from occurring at all, rather than reactive steps that may or may not offer some level of injury mitigation only after a crash has already taken place. Rider education, which prepares motorcyclists to interact with other roadway users by learning and practicing the skills necessary for hazard avoidance and developing a strategy to deal with real world traffic, is the primary component of a comprehensive motorcycle safety plan. Additionally, educating all motor vehicle operators to be alert and free of impairment as they share the road with others is critical in deterring crashes caused by inattention. When coming across these stories keep in mind some facts that are omitted from their reports. Fact: Over the last decade motorcycle related deaths have varied between years but for the most part remain flat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2019 shows 5,014 deaths, a decrease from the 2008 5,307 deaths NTSHA recorded. In that same time period registered motorcycles increased from 7.7 million in 2008 to 8.7 million ten years later. In other words, there are a million more bikes on the road and there were

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Oregon governor blocks motorcycle ‘lane splitting’ bill

by Sara Cline from https://www.sfgate.com Earlier this month, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that would allow motorcyclists to drive between slow or stopped traffic. However, despite bipartisan approval and hundreds of letters of written testimony — overwhelmingly in favor of the “lane splitting” legislation — Gov. Kate Brown this week vetoed the measure, citing public safety concerns. “I have several concerns with the bill as currently drafted, particularly related to public safety and noncompliance,” Brown said in a Wednesday letter to the state Senate president and House speaker, which was obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting. Senate Bill 574 would have permitted motorcyclists to drive between lanes, on multilane highways, when traffic slowed to 10 mph (16 kph) or less — also known as “lane splitting” or “lane filtering.” In this situation, motorcyclists riding between cars could travel no more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic. States like California and Utah have enacted similar laws. While this idea concerned some drivers, motorcyclists argued lane splitting actually improves safety. “Perhaps one of the more dangerous situations for any on-highway motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators and environmental conditions pose an increased risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard,” Nicholas Haris, a representative for the American Motorcyclist Association, said in written testimony. “Even minor contact under such conditions can be disastrous for motorcyclists.” According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, in 2018, the most recent data available, there were 78 deadly motorcycle crashes in the state. “I have witnessed — during rolling traffic slowdowns on the Southern California freeway — motorcyclists cautiously, slowly and effectively moving through traffic and eliminating themselves from the traffic backup,” Kate Stoller, an Oregon motorcyclist, said in written testimony. In Utah, legislation passed in

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