Maryland motorcycle accident deaths are down approximately 20%, from 83 deaths in 2008 to 63 deaths in 2009. While that is 63 deaths too many, it reverses the trend of increasing motorcycle deaths in Maryland in the last decade. Maryland’s move toward better motorcycle safety mirrors the rest of the country. There were approximately 500 fewer fatal motorcycle accidents nationally in 2009 than in 2008.
Why the sudden decline in fatalities? No one knows for sure. The optimists argue that motorcycle safety and easier to handle motorcycles are the reason for the decline in the death rate. The pessimists argue that economic meltdown means less discretionary income, which means less motorcycles on the street. Some have also suggested bad weather played a paradoxically positive role – less good days to ride equals less motorcycle accidents. Let’s hope the optimists are right and this new trend forebodes a shift to decreasing the overall number of motorcycle accidents.