There is an increasing diversity in the types of powered 2-wheel vehicles that are available and being used across the Nation. Larger and more powerful motorcycles continue to enter the market but at the same time, increasingly popular are smaller, low-powered 2-wheelers such as mopeds and seated scooters. These trends will likely have safety consequences. For example, the variations in rider position, power, and the operating space of mopeds and seated scooters result in different riding exposure. Crash data on these emerging vehicle types are not readily available, and variations in State laws defining and regulating these vehicle types vary, resulting in different crash reporting procedures and making it difficult to track crash data trends. Although these vehicles have lower speed and power capabilities (most States classify these vehicles based on their maximum speed, generally 20 to 30 mph), research has shown similar injury patterns among riders of low-speed vehicles and larger motorcycles, specifically as it relates to head injuries (Wentzel et al., 2020). The similar pattern of head injuries may reflect helmet noncompliance. Thus, while riders of low-powered cycles may face different safety problems than motorcycle riders, some countermeasures aimed at motorcycles (such as helmet use laws) also apply to low-powered cycles.
There are technological solutions on the market or in development that have the potential to reduce motorcycle crashes. Motorcycle antilock braking systems have been demonstrated to be effective (Teoh, 2013) and are widely available. Autonomous emergency braking and collision avoidance systems are at various stages of development and implementation (Savino et al., 2020). Additionally, the presence of similar systems on passenger vehicles has the potential to reduce certain types of passenger vehicle/motorcycle crashes, though these types of crashes represent a relatively small proportion of total motorcycle crashes (Teoh, 2018).