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-   -   Sad News: Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Deaths Rise (Again!) (http://www.motorcycle.com/forum/mo-reader-feedback/904-sad-news-single-vehicle-motorcycle-deaths-rise-again.html)

DataDan 10-24-2001 06:20 AM

Re: Maybe you gotta make it visual for them, blip.
 
Fatalities per crash tells us how safe crashing is. Given that one has crashed, how likely is one to die? This would be interesting to know when analyzing helmet effectiveness, for example, but explains little about riding skill.


Fatalities per rider tells us how safe riding is. Given that one rides a motorcycle, how likely is it that one will crash and die. Crash safety is only a small part of riding safety; a far bigger part is ability to avoid crashing in the first place.


For info, the subject NHTSA report addresses only fatal crashes.

granny 10-24-2001 06:47 AM

RE: safety gear can lead to excessive risk taking
 
I think there is some truth to that. I am much more confident when I am wearing race leathers than with my aerostich (even though I have no reason to be). This added confidence does improve my riding but it also tends to increase the risks that I'm willing to take. I doubt that I'm much different from other riders in that regard.



Anything with two wheels.

starvingstudent 10-24-2001 06:49 AM

Re: Sad News: Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Deaths Rise (Again!)
 
What, you've never been pushed off the road by a frat/sorority type in a VW Jetta? I blame cell phones a lot more than I blame SUVs.



Don't worry about Ford and Chevy, worry about Nokia and Eriksson.

Poser 10-24-2001 06:56 AM

Time for the rant
 
Well, I didn't rant yesterday, but then I read the report and feel a rant coming on pretty strongly!



1. Single vehicle motorcycle crashes have not really risen as a percentage of fatal crashes. We still kill ourselves at a greater clip than we should.



2. The probability that you can drink and drive a cage and get away with it is greater than your probability of drinking and riding. Well, duh!



3. It is more likely fatal to hit a stationary object. Well, duh!



4. Those stationary objects are off of the road. Well, duh!



5. People fall off in curves. Well, duh! Then they hit a stationary object. Well, ouch!



6. The percentage of riders that did not maneuver fluctuates dramatically from year to year, but in all years there is no data for nearly half of accidents. 30% deer in the headlights is pretty amazing, though.



7. Being drunk at night is a really bad idea. You can't see as well, others can't see you as well, and you are drunk. Going fast at night while drunk is pretty dumb. Gosh, I might have learned something there...



8. Divided highways are safer. We have known about that one for decades.



9. More people crash wearing helmets than not wearing helmets. Of those who crash, those wearing helmets are more likely to survive. Well, duh!



10. The data says speeding was a factor in over half of fatal accidents, but is declining slightly. I would say speeding is probably a politically inflated factor, but the fact that it is DECLINING slightly is interesting.



11. Most fatalities are male. Well, duh! Most riders are male for some reason that I cannot fathom.



So, look at racetracks- they generally have runoff areas in curves, so when you fall off (it is not an accident when you overcook it and fall off in a race, just a crash) you slide for a while before there is anything solid to hit. If you are scooting along a tree lined lane, asume that it will hurt a lot if you fall off and keep within your limits! Fatalities among the young are falling. They are the usual squid suspects, so racing inspired safety equipment must do its job, squids in flip-flops not withstanding. It would be easy to say that aging men who buy cruisers and ride them with no/ beanie helmets account for the increase in fatalities per accident, but that is not necessarily clear from the data. I doubt that a novelty helmet does you any good, while a full face Arai could save your whole head from a lot of trouble.



Riders will always have a higher risk tolerance than the rest of the population. We will always have a higher fatality rate than other vehicle operators. It is the nature of bikes.



This over 40 rider will continue to commute daily on a crowded stretch of freeway and continue to enjoy the occational blast through the twisties. My opinion of speed limits will not change much, nor will my use of alcohol (at home, on NO wheels!) I will continue to wear a full face helmet and armored riding gear.



This study just points out the obvious, for the most part. NHTSA managed to put about five pages of information into forty nine pages! What REALLY needs to happen now is a more thorough study, looking at helmet types, pavement conditions, road design, rider experience, etc. The Hurt report was a landmark, but you don't stop at one landmark!



Fat chance that the powers that be will actually do anything, though. They will wring their hands, bemoan the loss of life, and do the easy thing- lower speed limits and try to foolproof bikes. Doing the right thing- really trying to understand what is going right and wrong- is too much work.

Poser 10-24-2001 07:01 AM

Black Jetta with blond driver equals DEATH
 
Black Jettas scare the socks off of me, especially when the driver is an excessively clean cut blond man or woman. I can't tell you how many close calls I have had with Jettas over the years. What is up with THAT? They think they are Mario Andretti, and that they can draft behind a bike or something.



Drivers wanted my a$$!

longride 10-24-2001 07:17 AM

Re: Sad News: Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Deaths Rise (Again!)
 
Your first quote:

"In Australia the massive increase in insurance premiums for above 600cc motorcycles has been attributed to old men buying Harley Davidsons."

My Questions:

Attributed by who and by what means? There are no Harleys under 883cc so why pick 600cc as the benchmark? Is there a specific insurance underwriter I can contact to confirm these "facts"?



Your second quote:

"They are more likely to be injured, and there injuries are worse than for young men in accidents. "

My Question:

What study found this and could you please send me a link or an address where I can get a copy of this study?



Quote #3:

"Even though the overall accident rate is lower, there are more injuries and fatalities in this age group. "

My Questions:

Again can you point me to the Austrailian study that found these "facts"? I am very interested in the findings. And which "age group" are these facts related to? I would have to guess from your post that this would be "old men that ride Harleys" age group?



I thank you in advance for your very informative post on this problem in Australia. There is nothing I appreciate more than a post filled with nothing but strong, undeniable facts. Keep up the good work.


JTD 10-24-2001 07:39 AM

Re: Sad News: Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Deaths Rise (Again!)
 
Whether the report is accurate or not, at least it has the rest of us (read: alive) thinking about our safety. As you tread the roads of America, or even the world for that matter, use your mind as much as you would the throttle or the brakes. Keep your eyes out for yourselves and fellow motorcyclists. If you were offended by the report it means you have some common sense. That's what you'll need on the roads. I don't worry about statistics. They are a double-edged sword. On one side, statistics are used to find patterns. On the other, they are used to promote agendas. Ride smart and I'll see you out there.

David_2001 10-24-2001 08:11 AM

Re: Sad News: Single-Vehicle Motorcycle Deaths Rise (Again!)
 
Has anyone else had a car try to run them off the road. I have, in fact i've had a police cruiser swerve into my lane. He was smiling at me the whole time! I've had old ladies try to smash me into the guard rail on the highway - while looking right at me, so I know she saw me. I know that sometimes people son't see us, but I've had definite instances where people have tried to run me of the road. Every time I here about a motorcycle accident where, for no apparent reason, someone lost control and crashed and died it makes me wonder what really happened.

DataDan 10-24-2001 08:12 AM

Re: Time for the rant
 
10. The data says speeding was a factor in over half of fatal accidents, but is declining slightly. I would say speeding is probably a politically inflated factor, but the fact that it is DECLINING slightly is interesting.


Here's an interesting data point on the subject of "excessive speed". I heard this myself on a scanner.

In a town I used to live in, the traffic-specialist cops rode motorcycles and worked only days ('til 10:00PM on Fri and Sat). At other times, crash reports were done by patrol officers, some with little traffic experience.

On this occasion, a late-night crash occurred when one vehicle plowed into another, which was stopped in the traffic lane with no lights. The cop taking the report didn't know whom to cite or for what, so he asked on the radio for advice. The answer came back that both should be cited, the stopped vehicle for stopping and the moving vehicle for excessive speed. The logic given for the latter was that zero was the only safe speed when another vehicle was stopped in the roadway. "Excessive speed" is apparently a catch-all that obscures the real magnitude of speed as a causative factor.


Fatalities among the young are falling. They are the usual squid suspects, so racing inspired safety equipment must do its job, squids in flip-flops not withstanding.


Solid fact, wrong conclusion. Deaths among younger riders have dropped because the number of younger riders has dropped. They remain more likely to die than older riders. Based on 1998 MIC ownership demographics (most current I have) and NHTSA fatality data, riders under 30 are twice as likely to die as riders over 40. Interestingly, this relationship has changed little in the 20 years since Harry Hurt did his study.


Riders will always have a higher risk tolerance than the rest of the population. We will always have a higher fatality rate than other vehicle operators. It is the nature of bikes.


This is an extremely important and poorly understood point. John Adams theorizes in his book Risk that each of us has a "risk thermostat", and we adjust our behavior based on our set point. Motorcyclists are obviously more riskophilic than cagers, so comparing car and bike fatalities is apples and oranges. Further, motorcycling is, for many, a recreation engaged in because it involves a certain amount of risk. If motorcycles were somehow made as safe as cars, the risk-takers would move on to street-luge or base-jumping or something else.

luvmyvfr 10-24-2001 08:15 AM

Re: Maybe you gotta make it visual for them, blip.
 
Exactly! You finally see! What we're worried/wondering about is why are people dying more per-crash. That is the disturbing fact presented by the statistics.



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