Each year, agencies look at the number of motor vehicle accidents to see what story the statistics tell. This data can help target driver safety programs or alert authorities to a situation that calls for a remedy.
Information so far from 2021 shows at least one positive trend when it comes to motorcycle accidents.
Motorcycle fatalities down
The North Platte Telegraph reported that motorcycle fatalities fell from recent previous years. At this point in the year, eight motorcyclists died on Nebraska roads. This is down from 23 deaths recorded at this stage last year. The average number of deaths from the beginning of the year to late August in this category came in at 20 from the 2016-2020 period.
Overall, traffic fatalities in 2021 decreased from previous years also. The state recorded 126 traffic fatalities as of late August, compared to 154 at the same time last year. In 2020, Nebraska roads saw 233 traffic fatalities, of which 34 involved motorcyclists.
Driving class participation up
An official from the Highway Safety Office of the Nebraska Department of Transportation expressed hope that this trend would continue. The official indicated that training classes for motorcyclists could play a role in the decreased deaths, as more drivers show motorcycle endorsements on their driver's licenses. Some evidence suggests an increase in enrollment for the classes that help motorcyclists drive defensively.
The official remarked that less traffic on the roads due to more people working from home could also factor into reduced fatalities. Still, he said, it is hard to pinpoint why one year is safer than another year, citing such factors as weather and road conditions.