Virginia Women and Motorcycles

The number of female motorcycle riders in the nation and in Virginia has soared in the past decade while crash fatalities, at least here in Virginia, are going the other way.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of female operators shot up from 4.3 million in 2003 to 7.1 million in 2009, the latest numbers available.

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, from 2011 to 2013, female motorcycle endorsements increased by nearly twice (10.37%) that of male endorsements (5.74%) while fatalities in that same time period were down by 33%, according to preliminary crash data provided by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Furthermore, female riders in 2012 died at the rate of about one in every seven thousand (6,902), while male rider death rates were much higher, at one in about every five thousand (4,732).

With the motorcycle riding season well underway, safety advocates across the Commonwealth ask all drivers to remain alert and share the road equally with the motorcycling community.

pictured: Women Riders Now (WRN) founder and editor Genevieve Schmitt with her 2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide and a 2013 Ducati Monster 696.