Head Of Motorcycle Crash Study At Federal Highway Administration Resigns Citing Serious Concerns

Dr. Samir Ahmed, the researcher and engineer leading the latest motorcycle crash causation study for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has resigned citing “serious reservations about the value of this study”.

In an email sent on Tuesday, September 11 2012 he announced the following: “I am writing to let you know that I am no longer working on the motorcycle crash causation study. I have serious reservations about the value of study with the existing FHWA involvement. My expectations of the study are very low.”

The study was originally planned to examine 1200 crashes but due to funding difficulties that was cut back to approximately 300, then to 120. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) had raised commitments from its members to provide $3 million to the study but decided not to make the money available for a study with fewer than the 900. It was decided then that the study would use only one location instead of the three that had been envisioned. The reduced study got underway last year.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has had some serious questions about this study since its conception. The MRF did not lobby Congress to have the study mandated. “It is no question that we need more information on why motorcycles crash, but with such limited resources in the motorcycle safety world we should be putting them toward proper motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness to prevent crashes.” Said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

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15 Responses to “Head Of Motorcycle Crash Study At Federal Highway Administration Resigns Citing Serious Concerns”


  1. 1 chopmopmonster66 Sep 12th, 2012 at 10:31 am

    I can say that most crashes are caused by the car !!!! I have been there and done that, when a Chevy suburban ran a stop sign and came in my lane , I got lucky and crashed into the center median instead of the truck and can still talk about it today thank god. People are just to per occupied any more . they are multitasking in the car instead of driving , It is more important to text than drive now days. then they say well i never even seen them . I have also been in the collision business for 27 years , have herd it all . It always seems to be the riders fault to hear the car drivers version. Yes not all riders are safe, you do have dumb asses that think the road is a drag strip or stage for there tricks . I think every person who drives , should have to take a riders safety course so they to can understand how riding works. PEOPLE IT TIME TO WAKE UP !!!!!

  2. 2 burnout Sep 12th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    We as riders are regulated as if millions are dying on bikes per year. We all know other vehicle crashes have higher fatalities (about 36,000 per yr to less than 5,000 for bike crashes) but daily we face new reasons to be stopped and questioned. peace

  3. 3 burnout Sep 12th, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Let me say 5000 deaths from bike crashes is TOO F***IN HIGH!! And most of them ARE caused by drivers of other vehicles. peace

  4. 4 Rodent Sep 12th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Safety tip: Ride like every other asshole out there is out to kill you, because they are!

  5. 5 Steve The Producer Johann Sep 12th, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    We talk about this all the time on the show – we have discovered like this study that many of the previous studies are flawed for many reasons.

    Riding an open air vehicle such as a motorcycle is already placing oneself in harms way everyone who rides knows this. But there are a number of things from a riders standpoint that can assist with safer riding.

    Give yourself 3 seconds leway behind the car/truck you are following not 10 feet!
    Look every which way you can and keep your eyes open at all times looking ahead 100 yards even.
    Don’t pass slow vehicles on roads with no straightaways which give you clear vision to see on coming cars. Look for signal lights when doing so even honk your horn to let drivers know you are passing them

    On the other hand we all know of cyclists going down because some idiot ran them over, hit them from behind while stopped at a stop sign, pulled out in front of them, etc.

    I believe cycle awareness needs to become a part of the drivers testing.

  6. 6 Brett Sep 12th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Sorry, but the statistics are saying most crashes involving motorcycles are caused by the motorcycles. Many times the fools on crotch rockets who have decided the highways are their playgrounds to try stunts like they see on Youtube. The fact is for all the “look out for bikers” signs & bumper stickers, many times the person on the bike isn’t paying attention to what he should.

    I also hope they are fake, but there are quite a few pictures floating around on Facebook titled winning at texting showing people on many times baggers, leaning way back like they are in a recliner & texting while flying down the road no hands…. like I said, hopefully they are all fake, but if not, I will not feel sorry for the fools if they do wreck doing something that ignorant.

  7. 7 ROGUE Sep 13th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    There have been unanswered questions with this study from the beginning.

    I suspect that Dr. Samir is finding information that would not be what the Federal Government was looking forward to.

    The way to reduce injuries and fatalities is to Reduce the Crashes and Collisions.

    By doing that there would be less need for body armor for motorcyclist, though it should be available for those who want it BUT NOT MANDATORY!!!

  8. 8 Shaz Sep 13th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @Rodent… RIGHT ON!
    Exactly what I told my son last weekend giving him his first driving lesson.
    HANG UP THE PHONE AND DRIVE.. watch the MC crash rate go down

  9. 9 CafeSportyTC Sep 13th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Brett, yeah crotch rockets tend to be the ones screwing off in traffic, but what i see more is the grey beard on his bagger riding like a d-bag and splitting lanes when he knows better. I see just as much stupidity from all kinds of riders.

  10. 10 Iron Horse Sep 13th, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve personally been involved in 2 motorcycle accidents…both times I was hit from behind. The first time was in 1976 when a lady was “window shopping” and didn’t see me stopped for the red light. The 2nd time, in 2004, I was waiting for traffic and had moved ahead about 2 feet so I could see past the signs that were blocking my view of the road. A young lady, talking on her cell phone thought I was pulling out into traffic and ran into my bike. I felt the bike wiggle and looked to my left, only to see the front end of a Grand Prix setting next to my left leg. Luckily, both times, the bike didn’t go down and there were no injuries…except to the bikes.

    Irregardless of what the study may show, from personal experience, I’m blaming the drivers (both car and bike) who aren’t paying attention.

    Just pay attention to your driving people!

  11. 11 Sark Sep 14th, 2012 at 1:21 am

    The problem for me is idiots, morons, and assholes in four wheeled vehicles…In hundreds of thousands of miles on two wheels, I have very rarely had a problem with motorcyclists.

  12. 12 Blackmax Sep 16th, 2012 at 10:33 am

    As long as the penalties for killing a biker remain (in most places) a slap on the hand
    things will not change.
    “I didn’t see him/her/them, remains the “mea culpa / mantra of drivers who insist on texting, fixing thier hair/make-up, drinking,etc, etc protected by their 3000 lbs+ of “Cage”

    1. Driver education
    2. Rider education
    3. Stiffer penaties if you kill a biker

    Rage against the Cage !!!!
    Like Rodent said they are out to Kill you and they remain the enemy

  13. 13 Shanna Howell Sep 17th, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Idaho has been doing a fairly comprehensive study of motorcycle crashes within Idaho State. You can find the most recent findings on the Idaho Star.

  14. 14 Toby Sep 17th, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    The problem with most of these past studies is that the data is incomplete and inconsistent which is why the proposed cost for the FHWA was so high. Each accident was to be researched and distilled to homogeneous data sets. Expensive.

    It would likely show what we already know. Alcohol and bike riding are extremely dangerous. Stunting is too. Idiot cage zombies cause many accidents, but for what reason(s)? Was there anything the rider could be doing to minimize that danger? What about lighting (those new retinal searing LEDs come to mind)? The proposal was genuine, and we are all at a loss for not getting a truer picture of biker accidents and fatalities.

  15. 15 Rare breed Oct 21st, 2012 at 4:01 am

    I think we , as bike riders need to buy air horns and scare the shit out of these drivers!! Actually letting them know that they are doing the wrong thing….

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