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Old 04-25-2002, 03:34 AM   #21
tshelver
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I think 90% of accidents can be avoided through a combination of training and experience.



Back in the early 80s, South Africa (where I originally hail from) experienced a huge bike boom.

Annual sales figures of around 70000 bikes were made, into a population that was a small fraction of that in the US . Most of these were Japanese 4-cylinder sport / standards ranging from 750 - 1100 cc.



The carnage was horrible, as there was no rider training program and average road speeds are much higher than in the US.

Most of these bikes were bought for 'breakfast running', a high speed ride to popular biker-only breakfast spots in the mountains in a very competitive environment.



A study was done on the accident demographics and some of the facts noted were (as far as my fading memory can recall - old age...):



- alcohol (80%)

- Riders had been riding for less than 6 months were a significant proportion (70%?) of the accident population

- More than 6 months experience, but acquired the bike in the last 3 months (probably upgraded to a bigger, faster machine).



The safest riders (statistically speaking) had been riding for more than 2 years, had owned their bike for at least 1 year, and did not drink and drive. I think the figures showed that these riders represented less than 5% of the total accident figure.

Those riders who used their machines for regular commuting and had 5+ years of experience had an ever better safety record.



The conclusion was that educating riders on accident avoidance and riding skills probably would have a much greater effect on accident rates than educating the general population.



Of course, this being South Africa, nothing was ever done about it.
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Old 04-25-2002, 04:30 AM   #22
seruzawa
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

We need a fundamental change in the way wrecks are investigated and prosecuted. I'd like to see a system in place where only issues of right-of-way are considered. This way when some cell-phone idiot in his Taurus SHO turns left in front of a biker (or a bicyclist or anyone else) no excuses are accepted. Only issues of right of way should be considered. If you violate the right-of-way you are guilty.



I would also eliminate the get-out-of-jail free card that car drivers use against motorcycles (and bicycles) when they claim that they didn't see the victim. You can purposelfully kill bikers and get off scot-free just by claiming you didn't see them. Pass a law making it illegal to admit this excuse in court as in reality it is no excuse at all.



It would also be good to see the special category of "vehicular homicide" eliminated. Treat an irresponsibile driver who kills someone no differently than you would someone who is playing around with a loaded gun.



But since we can't even get drivers under the influence of mind altering drugs like prozac and paxil off the road, I doubt that anything effective will be done. Too many lawyers make too much money getting people off by inventing creative excuses. And the judges want to make lots of bucks in private practice when they retire also. Add to this the fact that most legislators are lawyers and I doubt that much will ever be done to fix the system.
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Old 04-25-2002, 05:10 AM   #23
RickZ
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I think you're basically right about the cruisers, but in this part of the country (SoCal) the number of poorly trained and inexperienced sport bike riders is pretty high also. I can't tell you how many 17-18 year olds with no street bike experience at all I have talked to who get daddy to buy them a 100+ hp sport bike for their first bike. One MSF class and they are off on their 'Busa. They ride like they think they are immortal, often without proper gear.



I think the AMA and the MSF could go even farther to make sure people are properly trained, and I can see some logic in preventing new riders from owning large, powerful bikes until they have some miles. like they do in some European countries.



That said, I think the biggest problem out there, even for the best trained and most experienced of us, is the level of training and competence of the average cager. It is just too easy to be an incompetent driver on the American roads. Our driving tests are a joke, and even when dangerous drivers are caught and identified they are usually given nothing but a small fine. You can actually be the cause of a fatal accident and walk away with a slap on the wrist. Distracted drivers have tried to kill my ass several times in the last few months. Drivers distracted by cell phones, make up, reading newpapers, eating burgers, cigarettes falling in people's laps, screaming kids; I've been attacked by them all. Something has to be done. I hope this study will bring about some changes.



Maybe just mandating that everyone who wants a driver's license has to go for a 100 mile pillion ride through Los Angeles would do the trick. That would raise awareness, pronto.



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Old 04-25-2002, 05:19 AM   #24
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I agree with much of what you say, but believe me when I say that M/C cops are also victims of cagers turning in front of them. It happened to my cousin when he was a motorcop in San Diego. You don't hear about it happening as much to the cops because there aren't as many of them and because their training often helps them to avoid the collision.



Otherwise, I completely agree. People are driving distracted, and for the most part are out there with no consideration of the damage potential they are commanding. We need to start putting people in jail, you're right.



Like I said in another post, make it mandatory to do a 100 mile pillion ride on a motorcycle before getting their license, and they'll start to notice bikes a bit more.



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Old 04-25-2002, 08:17 AM   #25
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study (Long but worth it)

Hey cops get the same treatment here in Houston that we do - they even tell them they are the most at risk cops and they know it. Just to show you, I was riding when a training group of new MC cops took off with a group of 8-10 big police bikes - big lights, big POLICE stickers, etc and a couple of experienced police riders. Within a few blocks they had been cut off, pulled in front of, and 1 car pulled through the middle of their pack - Talk about some kind of pissed they were as this was not staged -



The next month two MC cops were KILLED in crashes with cars - one while he was leading a funeral for a bike rider (not biker) who was killed in a crash. This is no bull!!!



Some don't see you and some don't give a crap. I've ridden both - Harleys and sports- for a heck of a long time like many of you and I'll tell you what I've observed.



1. Way more than half - up to 75% -80% of my sport bike buds that crashed or were involved with a car were going higher speed by a lot. In Alans case he took of a stop sign way down the street winding the hell out of his CBR in spite of the car he saw. It did turn left in front of him and it was the car fault - but they never thought he would be there - course he wouldn't be if he wasn't up to nearly 90mph. A couple of more crashes due to too high speed in corners - overshot and one due to loosing a long powerwheelie right in the middle of downtown.



2. Drinking. I don't drink and ride and don't think anybody should but thats me. A good many have been -



3. Most car drivers got too much crap on their mind and no skills to boot - but we avoid most of the too damn many of these by being ready.



Got caught in an absolute bad ass Texas storm a few weeks back - Raining 2 inch an hour , windy and black as hell, downtown Houston, all under construction, no raingear, had to ride 30 miles. Going slow just trying to see to get to contra flow lane - cars splashing by fast as they could - most can't hardly see either. Finally make contra lane and it's flooding - shin and knee deep in spots and now really rippin it up. A DAMN GOOD car driver tucks in behind me and gives me room too and holds back the idiots. In spite of 30plus years experience and riding in all kinds of weather, and many foriegn countries, and 10 years race skills, and knowing how to read the roads I was still scared. I would have shut it down if I had not been by myself. I hit a couple of deep spots on the Harley but the weight down low kept it controllable enough. Talk about puckering you up. Anyway if I ever see that driver I owe him cause he definitely had his head on right.



4. Oh yeah, my absolute favorite - NO HELMET. I agree with freedoms and generally disagree with many bonehead laws - but you don't need no stinking law to tell you to save your head.



If it ain't worth saving to you, fine by me - but how about not asking to be taken to the hospital when your heads cracked open.



Leaving a Harley rally a good friend of my secretary, who had 3-5 years riding, fell over in first gear (Yeah drinking too) but, oh by the way, he hit his head on a small rock which went clean through his skull and into the middle of his brains. Killed him right now. A lot of boo-hooing and scared and mad folks. I wish it hadn't of happened - but why in the hell he didn't have a helmet on - Cause he was too cool. If you aren't going to help you don't ask the fed or any other government to do it for you.



My 13 year olds been riding since 4 - now riding MX - if I even think he rode MC or bicycle without a helmet - end of bikes and thats a fact.



My more than 2 cents on this.





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Old 04-25-2002, 08:45 AM   #26
Matt_Pressley
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I'm glad to see that the AMA is pushing for a more specific nation-wide analysis of motorcyclist fatalities. Sheer numbers doesn't tell you anything. Like the article said, the main reason fatalities are up is because the amount of motorcycles on the road has exploded. Also, I believe that the amount of educated riders on the road is DOWN. I don't know how many times I've been at the motorcycle shop, when some guy who doesn't even know what a carb is starts sitting on all the bikes and ends up riding off on one. The best thing in the world for motorcyclists is the Motorcycle Safety Course. I taught myself to ride and rode for a month before taking the course. After taking the course, my riding and safety skills improved dramatically. If people would give their egos a rest and take the course, I believe the fatality numbers would drop like flies...
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Old 04-25-2002, 09:53 AM   #27
MattTinSF
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I got real tired of all the stupid car tricks that people were playing around me during my commutes that I finally threw away all hopes of being stylish, and bought a "lime-yellow high visibility" riding suit from Aerostitch. Since then, almost no stupid car tricks. The even see me and pull over long before I get up to them (I probably look like I'm responding to a hazardous materials spill or something).



Yes, motorists needs educating about motorcyclists, but quite frankly, most motorcyclists need education about being seen. All black just doesn't cut it.



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Old 04-25-2002, 10:02 AM   #28
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

Not true. Gathering data on it is difficult, and really hasn't been done in anything close to a comprehensive manner since the Hurt report more than 20 years ago (and even that was a very flawed report). But, a close examination of the statistics available shows that most rider deaths (around 55 percent) are still caused by drivers, with the infamous "I didn't see him before I turned left in front of him" leading the way.



Inexperience leading to operator error causes about 30 to 40 percent of the deaths, depending on who is doing the analysis. Both statistics are outrageous, however. I'm glad AMA is trying a little harder these days on getting good safety information out to the riding and driving public. We need all we can get.



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Old 04-25-2002, 10:04 AM   #29
mconlon
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

I also threw fashion to the wind and got the Hi-Viz suit. While it has stopped some, it hasn't stopped all from not seeing me. Next is headlight modulators--they think I am emergency crew as it is; flashing headlights is bound to get some attention. Heh.
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Old 04-25-2002, 11:10 AM   #30
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Default Re: AMA requests national accident study

Ive seen several of the Hi Viz suits on the road and honestly they dont seem that Hi Viz. If your on the slab with of course dry grass on the side of the road they almost dissappear (I passed a guy yesterday on a VFR with one). I have a Power Ranger Red with Silver Roadcrafter (Yeah I know in another year it will be grey, love that fade thang) but the red or even blue suits seem to catch my eye more. Just my 2 cents
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