According to the initial results of a safety research study initiated by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, the rate for motorcycle fatalities in 2011 has decreased by more than 1.5 percent in comparison to 2010, but safety experts speculate that the current lower rate will rise to meet the previous year’s levels once all of 2011’s motorcycle fatalities have been tabulated. Currently, only the fatal motorcycle accidents taking place during the first nine months of 2011 have been included in the new study. An expected spike in the rate of motorcycle fatalities that typically takes place in the last few months of a given year has been expected to put the motorcycle fatality rate for 2011 even with that of 2010, according to safety experts working for the Governors’ Highway Safety Association. More than 4,500 motorcycle operators were killed in traffic collisions in 2010, and a similar figure has been projected for 2011 one the research has been completed. The states with lower than normal motorcycle fatality rates in 2011 experienced lower numbers of motorists undergoing the motorcycle licensing procedure or a larger amount of inclement weather, which often discourages people from riding motorcycles. According to data released by the Governors’ Highway Safety Association, motorcycle fatality rates for a given state have a direct correlation with the number of motorcycle licenses issued by that state within the year, a figure that can be reliably predicted based on gasoline prices.