May 1, 2024

Additional Information Contact:
ASP Highway Safety Office – Bridget White
(501) 618-8230

Coinciding with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, May marks the beginning of riding season for many motorcyclists in America. The Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office (AHSO), state and local law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) want to remind all motorists that Motorcyclist’s Safety Is Everyone’s Safety. Motorcycle safety is an ongoing responsibility for all road users. By consistently following safe driving and riding practices and sharing the road with others, all motorists can help reduce the number of motorcyclist fatalities.

Each year motorcyclists are overrepresented in traffic crashes. According to NHTSA data, there were 6,218 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes in 2022, which represents 15% of total highway fatalities for that year and a 1% increase from 2021 (6,143). Per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, motorcyclists were about 22 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and 4 times more likely to be injured. Two leading contributors to this reality are speeding and alcohol impairment.

Speeding, like in all other years, was a major contributing factor to motorcyclist fatalities in 2022. Thirty-five percent of all motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared to 22% of all passenger car drivers, 15% of all light-truck drivers, and 6% of all large-truck drivers. Motorcycle riders 21 to 24 years old involved in fatal crashes had the highest speeding involvement at 51% in 2022.

Alcohol impairment also plays a significant role in motorcycle-involved crash fatalities, and 2022 was no exception. Of the 2,254 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes that year, 42% were alcohol-impaired. Motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes (killed and survived) had a higher percentage of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (28% for motorcycle riders, 25% for passenger car drivers, 21% for light-truck drivers, and 3% for large-truck drivers). Forty-six percent of motorcycle riders killed in single-vehicle crashes that occurred on weekends were alcohol-impaired. Forty-two percent of all motorcycle riders killed in night-time were alcohol-impaired, compared to 16% of those killed in daytime crashes.

Like seat belts, wearing Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant motorcycle helmets save lives and reduce injuries. After three years of declines, motorcycle helmet use increased among motorcycle riders from 64.9% in 2021 to 66.5% in 2022. Similarly, among motorcycle riders with passengers, helmet use increased: 52.1% in 2021 and 58.3% in 2022. Unfortunately, helmet use among motorcyclists traveling in light traffic decreased significantly from 59% in 2021 to 35.5% in 2022. NHTSA data estimates that helmets saved 1,872 motorcyclists’ lives in 2017 and that 749 more lives could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn their helmets.

The following are safe driving and riding practices that all road users — vehicle drivers and motorcyclists alike — should follow to help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on Arkansas’s roadways:

-- Observe all traffic laws and always obey the speed limit.

-- Drive and ride alcohol- and drug-free.

-- Avoid distractions while driving or riding.

-- Drivers should yield to motorcyclists, especially while turning at intersections.

-- Motorcyclists should wear high-visibility protective gear and DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets. Learn how to identify a safe, DOT-compliant helmet at

One other significant step that motorcycle riders can take toward promoting road safety for all motorists is completing a rider education and training course. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month — and every month — motorcycle riders should commit to adopting and promoting safe driving and riding practices. Everyone can work toward a secure environment for motorcycle riders and all other motorists.

For more information on motorcycle safety, visit or call the Arkansas Highway Safety Office at (501) 618-8127, and go to to learn about Arkansas’ Toward Zero Deaths campaign to eliminate preventable traffic fatalities.

Arkansas State Police Communications | 501-618-8232 |