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According to a report recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of people who died in motorcycle accidents dropped dramatically in 2009. The number of such deaths rose steadily over about a dozen years and topped out in 2008, but that number decreased almost 16 percent in the nine month periods of 2008 and 2009 that were compared.

The reason for the decline has not been definitively identified, but the speculation is that economic factors kept some motorcyclists off the road or put them on the road for fewer miles. One indicator of this phenomenon is that new motorcycle sales dropped 42 percent in 2009 and another, with hope, is that the public is responding to efforts to increase awareness of safety issues that relate to riders and motorists. Specific areas of focus for riders have been helmet use, proper safety training, reducing speed, and no drinking and riding. Whatever the reason for the decline, it is a positive trend and one can only hope that it continues.

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