The Hurt Study is the currently accepted best information we have on motorcycling safety issues.  In my research of the root of military motorcycling requirements, I found they all relate back to the Hurt Study.

1) The Hurt Study:

Finding 13: Conspicuity of the motorcycle is a critical factor in the multiple vehicle accidents, and accident involvement is significantly reduced by the use of motorcycle headlamps (on in daylight) and the wearing of high visibility yellow, orange or bright red jackets.

Finding 22:  The motorcycle riders involved in accidents are essentially without training; 92% were self-taught or learned from family or friends. Motorcycle rider training experience reduces accident involvement and is related to reduced injuries in the event of accidents.

Finding 38:  The use of heavy boots, jacket, gloves, etc., is effective in preventing or reducing abrasions and lacerations, which are frequent but rarely severe injuries.

Finding 41:  Seventy-three percent of the accident-involved motorcycle riders used no eye protection, and it is likely that the wind on the unprotected eyes contributed in impairment of vision which delayed hazard detection.

Finding 45:  The use of the safety helmet is the single critical factor in the prevention of reduction of head injury; the safety helmet which complies with FMVSS 218 is a significantly effective injury countermeasure.

2) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Clearly the Highway Safety Program, Guideline No. 3 (HPSG 3), Motorcycle Safety, takes its queue from the Hurt Study.  It addresses all the findings I reference above.

3) Department of Defense

The DoD's instruction on motorcycle safety, DoD Traffic Safety Program, in turn follows HPSG 3 closely--even referencing it.

4) Air Force

Of course, the subordinate Air Force regulations mirror the DoD reg's motorcycling requirements.

(Military Motorcycling is addressed here.)


National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)'s
Uniform Guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs

Specifically, Highway Safety Program, Guideline No. 3 (HPSG 3), Motorcycle Safety:



The "Hurt Study"

Summarized findings available at:  and



NHTSA is aware the Hurt Study is dated.

This page addresses that issue:



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Last updated: August 30, 2007