Motorcycle Safety

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 2022 is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Arkansas Highway Safety Office reminds vehicle drivers and motorists that safe driving and riding practices and cooperation from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways

In 2019, there were 5,014 motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes, a decrease from 2018 (5,038). These deaths accounted for 14% of the total highway fatalities that year.

Even the smallest momentary lapse in a vehicle driver’s awareness can result in the death of an unseen motorcyclist.

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office (AHSO) developed a statewide plan of action and has initiated components for a motorcycle safety program to increase public awareness, support rider education and through enforcement and PI&E efforts reduce the number of motorcycle fatalities and injuries. Arkansas is one of three states that did not not have a statewide motorcycle safety program.

The AHSO, in order to address the increase in motorcycle crashes and fatalities, received authorization from the Governor to designate the AHSO as the State authority having jurisdiction over motorcyclist safety issues. This was the first and most important step towards Arkansas’ efforts to focus on and develop a statewide motorcycle safety program. Then a social norming message "Ride For Love" was layered onto the tour activities to advance the message to ride safely for your loved ones. To encourage riders across the State, share the road with other riders, vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

AHSO 2021 Share The Road Awareness/Educational Campaign Toured Motorcycles Rallies Across The State

Photos: Safety Partner Jason Bennett


Friday, June 25th was a warm day at the Lace, Grace, and Gears Motorcycle Rally where the Arkansas Highway Safety Office was set up to meet all the riders. The AHSO promoted the message of Share The Road - Look Twice for Motorcycles to patrons in attendance. At the booth, the large inflatable motorcycle was up so participants could take pictures and create a lasting memory of the event. Share The Road - Look Twice for Motorcycles yard signs were handed out to everyone that shared their stories.

Share The Road Mini Story: One attendee shared a story about her friend who was recently severely injured in a motorcycle wreck and lost his leg. She was very appreciative that the campaign was traveling across the state to help raise awareness for drivers and riders in hopes that it will help others avoid the same type of crash.

The interactive and friendly crowd made for a very successful day at Lace, Grace & Gears.

Photos: Safety Partner Jason Bennett


On Friday, August 20th, the Arkansas Department of Highway Safety set up a booth promoting the Share The Road - Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign at Rumble on the River in Shirley, Arkansas. The booth was set up next to three other booths selling homemade artwork and clothes. ARHSO greeted guests as they entered the motorcycle rally and participated in the ARHSO survey and walk the line activity with fatal vision goggles. Guests were appreciative of the message being conveyed and many took the free yard signs, pens, and bumper stickers promoting the campaign.

Share The Road Mini Story: One attendee came to the booth to share his story of losing his leg in a motorcycle accident due to a distracted driver. He expressed his appreciation for the campaign.

The day was enjoyed by all who attended and overall, the message was received well. More On Motorcycle Rallies

Photos, Recaps, Mini-Stories Submitted by Safety Partner Jason Bennett, Alliance Sport Marketing

Share The Road. Safe Driving is a choice. Be the Hero for Your Family.

Arkansas State Police Highway Safety Office

NHTSA Based Research

Arkansas reported 70 motorcycle related fatalities in 2009. This is a significant increase from the 63 motorcycle fatalities reported in 2004. Motorcycle fatalities currently account for approximately 12 percent of Arkansas’ total traffic fatalities.

The 5-year moving average clearly shows the upward trend in motorcycle fatalities with a slight decrease in 2008. However, preliminary state data shows fatalities on the rise again at 70 for 2009. There were 357 motorcycle involved traffic fatalities in Arkansas during the 5-year period from 2005-2009. In 1999 the motorcycle helmet law was repealed in Arkansas, requiring that only person(s) under the age of 21 wear protective headgear and that year motorcycle fatalities were 23. Motorcycle fatalities in the years following the change in the law have tripled. Arkansas reported 1,504 motorcycle involved crashes in 2009.

The table on the next page provides a ranking of the top twenty-five counties in order, from highest to lowest of the number of motorcycle crashes in 2009.

The Arkansas Highway Safety Office recognizes the significance and impact that motorcycle related crashes are having on the overall fatality picture in this State. It has become necessary to implement effective countermeasures to address this growing problem in Arkansas.