Motorcycle Deaths Hold Steady Even as overall road fatalities decrease By Dustin Lushing, Newser Staff Posted May 23, 2012 3:52 PM CDT 15 comments Comments A stock image of a motorcycle crash. (Shutterstock) (Newser) – The number of motorcycle fatalities in 2011 did not budge compared to 2010, even though overall vehicle deaths dipped to the lowest level since 1949, says a new highway safety report. One theory: High gas prices might be encouraging more people to drive motorcycles instead of cars, reports the Los Angeles Times. About 4,500 died in motorcycle accidents last year, according to projections from the Governors Highway Safety Association. The safety group plans to use the data to push for more mandatory helmet laws. Seven states have scrapped their laws since 1997, and legislation to repeal the laws has been introduced in five others.